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jQuery Traversing - Ancestors


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

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


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 Exercises

Test Yourself With Exercises

Exercise:

Use a jQuery method to get the direct parent of a <span> element.

$("span").();

Start the Exercise


jQuery Traversing Reference

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