The <defs> element is used to store graphical objects that will be used at a later time. Objects created inside a <defs> element are not rendered directly. To display them you have to reference them (with a <use> element for example).

Graphical objects can be referenced from anywhere, however, defining these objects inside of a <defs> element promotes understandability of the SVG content and is beneficial to the overall accessibility of the document.

<svg viewBox="0 0 10 10" xmlns="http://www.w3.org/2000/svg"
  <!-- Some graphical objects to use -->
    <circle id="myCircle" cx="0" cy="0" r="5" />

    <linearGradient id="myGradient" gradientTransform="rotate(90)">
      <stop offset="20%" stop-color="gold" />
      <stop offset="90%" stop-color="red" />

  <!-- using my graphical objects -->
  <use x="5" y="5" xlink:href="#myCircle" fill="url('#myGradient')" />


Global attributes

Usage notes


Browser compatibility

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