Semantic Element

What Does Semantic Element Mean?

A semantic element is an element of code that uses words to clearly represent what that element contains, in human language. For practical purposes, many of those researching semantic elements are looking at English language words used for the purposes of semantic labeling.


Techopedia Explains Semantic Element

One of the most prominent examples of semantic elements is the HTML 5 programming language used to create Web pages. The original HTML had a number of semantic elements such as “link” and “img,” but also other elements that were non-semantic: “div” and “span” really do not tell the user what the element is, nor does something like “a” or “tr.” The non-semantic elements do not describe their contents in human language in the tags that developers use to implement them.

HTML 5 includes additional semantic elements new to HTML such as:

  • article
  • detail
  • figure
  • footer
  • header
  • main
  • mark
  • section
  • summary

The trend toward semantic code is meant to make it easier to read the source code of a page or project.


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Margaret Rouse

Margaret Rouse is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical, business audience. Over the past twenty years her explanations have appeared on TechTarget websites and she's been cited as an authority in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine and Discovery Magazine.Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages. If you have a suggestion for a new definition or how to improve a technical explanation, please email Margaret or contact her…