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jQuery parents() Method

jQuery HTML Methods jQuery Traversing Methods

Example

Return all ancestor elements of <span>:

$(document).ready(function(){
  $("span").parents().css({"({"color":"red","border":"2px solid red"});
});

Result:

body (great-great-grandparent)
div (great-grandparent)
    ul (grandparent)
  • li (direct parent) span

Try it yourself »

Definition and Usage

The parents() method returns all ancestor elements of the selected element.

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

The DOM tree: This method traverse upwards from the parent element along ancestors of DOM elements, all the way up to the document's root element (<html>).

Note: If the filter parameter is empty, this function will select all ancestors of a set of elements, from the direct parent and all the way up to <body> and <html>. It is therefore often useful to pass a selector expression to narrow down the search result.

This method is similar to closest(), in that they both traverse up the DOM tree. The differences are as follows:

parents()

  • Begins with the parent element
  • Travels up the DOM tree and returns all ancestors that matches the passed expression
  • The returned jQuery object contains zero or more than one element

closest()

  • Begins with the current element
  • Travels up the DOM tree and returns the first ancestor that matches the passed expression
  • The returned jQuery object contains zero or one element

Other related methods:

  • parent() - returns the direct parent element of the selected element
  • parentsUntil() - returns all ancestor elements between two given arguments

Syntax

$(selector).parents(filter)

Parameter Description
filter Optional. Specifies a selector expression to narrow down the search for ancestors

Note: To return multiple ancestors, separate each expression with a comma.

Examples

Try it Yourself - Examples

Narrow down the search
How to use the filter parameter to return all ancestors of <span> that are <ul> elements.

Return multiple ancestors
How to use the filter parameter to return all ancestors of <span> that are <li> and <div> elements.

Show the ancestors of an element by tag names
A demonstration which shows who the ancestors of a <span> element actually are.


jQuery HTML Methods jQuery Traversing Methods


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