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jQuery Traversing - Ancestors


An ancestor is a parent, grandparent, great-grandparent, and so on.

With jQuery you can traverse up the DOM tree to find ancestors of an element.


Traversing Up the DOM Tree

Three useful jQuery methods for traversing up the DOM tree are:

  • parent()
  • parents()
  • parentsUntil()

jQuery parent() Method

The parent() method returns the direct parent element of the selected element.

This method only traverse a single level up the DOM tree.

The following example returns the direct parent element of each <span> elements:

Example

$(document).ready(function(){
  $("span").parent();
});

Try it yourself »


jQuery parents() Method

The parents() method returns all ancestor elements of the selected element, all the way up to the document's root element (<html>).

The following example returns all ancestors of all <span> elements:

Example

$(document).ready(function(){
  $("span").parents();
});

Try it yourself »

You can also use an optional parameter to filter the search for ancestors.

The following example returns all ancestors of all <span> elements that are <ul> elements:

Example

$(document).ready(function(){
  $("span").parents("ul");
});

Try it yourself »


jQuery parentsUntil() Method

The parentsUntil() method returns all ancestor elements between two given arguments.

The following example returns all ancestor elements between a <span> and a <div> element:

Example

$(document).ready(function(){
  $("span").parentsUntil("div");
});

Try it yourself »


jQuery Traversing Reference

For a complete overview of all jQuery Traversing methods, please go to our jQuery Traversing Reference.



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