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HTML DOM parentElement Property

Element Object

Example

Get the node name of the parent element of a <li> element:

var x = document.getElementById("myLI").parentElement.nodeName;

The result of x will be:

UL
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More "Try it Yourself" examples below.


Definition and Usage

The parentElement property returns the parent element of the specified element.

The difference between parentElement and parentNode, is that parentElement returns null if the parent node is not an element node:

document.body.parentNode; // Returns the <html> element
document.body.parentElement; // Returns the <html> element

document.documentElement.parentNode; // Returns the Document node
document.documentElement.parentElement; // Returns null (<html> does not have a parent ELEMENT node)

In most cases, it does not matter which property you use, however, parentNode is probably the most popular.

This property is read-only.


Browser Support

The numbers in the table specify the first browser version that fully supports the property.

Property
parentElement 1.0 Yes 9.0 Yes Yes


Syntax

node.parentElement

Technical Details

Return Value: An Element object, representing the parent element node of a node, or null if the node has no parent
DOM Version DOM Level 4 Element Object

More Examples

Example

Click on an element (<span>) to hide its parent element (<div>):

<div>
  <span onclick="this.parentElement.style.display = 'none';">x</span>
</div>
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Element Object