Get the descendants of each element in the current set of matched elements, filtered by a selector, jQuery object, or element.

.find(selector)🡢 jQuery

selector SelectorA string containing a selector expression to match elements against.

.find(element)🡢 jQuery

element Element, jQueryAn element or a jQuery object to match elements against.

Given a jQuery object that represents a set of DOM elements, the .find() method allows us to search through the descendants of these elements in the DOM tree and construct a new jQuery object from the matching elements. The .find() and .children() methods are similar, except that the latter only travels a single level down the DOM tree.

The first signature for the .find()method accepts a selector expression of the same type that we can pass to the $() function. The elements will be filtered by testing whether they match this selector; all parts of the selector must lie inside of an element on which .find() is called. The expressions allowed include selectors like > p which will find all the paragraphs that are children of the elements in the jQuery object.

Consider a page with a basic nested list on it:

<ul class="level-1">
  <li class="item-i">I</li>
  <li class="item-ii">
    <ul class="level-2">
      <li class="item-a">A</li>
      <li class="item-b">
        <ul class="level-3">
          <li class="item-1">1</li>
          <li class="item-2">2</li>
          <li class="item-3">3</li>
      <li class="item-c">C</li>
  <li class="item-iii">III</li>

If we begin at item II, we can find list items within it:

$("li.item-ii").find("li").css("background-color", "red");

The result of this call is a red background on items A, B, 1, 2, 3, and C. Even though item II matches the selector expression, it is not included in the results; only descendants are considered candidates for the match.

Unlike most of the tree traversal methods, the selector expression is required in a call to .find(). If we need to retrieve all of the descendant elements, we can pass in the universal selector '*' to accomplish this.

Selector context is implemented with the .find() method; therefore, $( "li.item-ii" ).find( "li" ) is equivalent to $( "li", "li.item-ii" ).

As of jQuery 1.6, we can also filter the selection with a given jQuery collection or element. With the same nested list as above, if we start with:

var allListElements = $("li");

And then pass this jQuery object to find:


This will return a jQuery collection which contains only the list elements that are descendants of item II.

Similarly, an element may also be passed to find:

var item1 = $("li.item-1")[0];
$("li.item-ii").find(item1).css("background-color", "red");

The result of this call would be a red background on item 1.

Starts with all paragraphs and searches for descendant span elements, same as $( "p span" )

<p><span>Hello</span>, how are you?</p>
<p>Me? I'm <span>good</span>.</p>
$("p").find("span").css("color", "red");

A selection using a jQuery collection of all span tags. Only spans within p tags are changed to red while others are left blue.

<p><span>Hello</span>, how are you?</p>
<p>Me? I'm <span>good</span>.</p>
<div>Did you <span>eat</span> yet?</div>
span {
  color: blue;
var spans = $("span");
$("p").find(spans).css("color", "red");

Add spans around each word then add a hover and italicize words with the letter t.

<p>When the day is short find that which matters to you or stop believing</p>
p {
  font-size: 20px;
  width: 200px;
  color: blue;
  font-weight: bold;
  margin: 0 10px;
.hilite {
  background: yellow;
var newText = $("p").text().split(" ").join("</span> <span>");
newText = "<span>" + newText + "</span>";

    function () {
    function () {
    "font-style": "italic",
    "font-weight": "bolder",

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