:only-child

The :only-child CSS pseudo-class represents an element without any siblings. This is the same as :first-child:last-child or :nth-child(1):nth-last-child(1), but with a lower specificity.

/* Selects each <p>, but only if it is the */
/* only child of its parent */
p:only-child {
  background-color: lime;
}

Note: As originally defined, the selected element had to have a parent. Beginning with Selectors Level 4, this is no longer required.

Syntax

:only-child

Examples

Basic example

HTML

<div>
  <div>I am an only child.</div>
</div>

<div>
  <div>I am the 1st sibling.</div>
  <div>I am the 2nd sibling.</div>
  <div>I am the 3rd sibling, <div>but this is an only child.</div></div>
</div>

CSS

div:only-child {
  color: red;
}

div {
  display: inline-block;
  margin: 6px;
  outline: 1px solid;
}

Result

A list example

HTML

<ol>
  <li>First
    <ul>
      <li>This list has just one element.</li>
    </ul>
  </li>
  <li>Second
    <ul>
      <li>This list has three elements.</li>
      <li>This list has three elements.</li>
      <li>This list has three elements.</li>
    </ul>
  </li>
</ol>

CSS

li li {
  list-style-type: disc;
}

li:only-child {
  color: red;
  list-style-type: square;
}

Result

Specifications

Specification Status Comment
Selectors Level 4
The definition of ':only-child' in that specification.
Working Draft Matching elements are not required to have a parent.
Selectors Level 3
The definition of ':only-child' in that specification.
Recommendation Initial definition.

Browser compatibility

Update compatibility data on GitHub
DesktopMobile
ChromeEdgeFirefoxInternet ExplorerOperaSafariAndroid webviewChrome for AndroidFirefox for AndroidOpera for AndroidSafari on iOSSamsung Internet
:only-childChrome Full support 2Edge Full support 12Firefox Full support 1.5IE Full support 9Opera Full support 9.5Safari Full support 3.1WebView Android Full support ≤37Chrome Android Full support 18Firefox Android Full support 4Opera Android Full support 10.1Safari iOS Full support 3.1Samsung Internet Android Full support 1.0
Matches elements with no parentChrome Full support 57Edge No support NoFirefox Full support 52IE No support NoOpera Full support 44Safari No support NoWebView Android Full support 57Chrome Android Full support 57Firefox Android Full support 52Opera Android Full support 43Safari iOS No support NoSamsung Internet Android Full support 7.0

Legend

Full support  
Full support
No support  
No support

See also