Get the parent of each element in the current set of matched elements, optionally filtered by a selector.

.parent(selector)🡢 jQuery

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

Given a jQuery object that represents a set of DOM elements, the parent() method traverses to the immediate parent of each of these elements in the DOM tree and constructs a new jQuery object from the matching elements.

This method is similar to .parents(), except .parent() only travels a single level up the DOM tree. Also, $( "html" ).parent() method returns a set containing document whereas $( "html" ).parents() returns an empty set.

The method optionally accepts a selector expression of the same type that we can pass to the $() function. If the selector is supplied, the elements will be filtered by testing whether they match it.

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 A, we can find its parents:

$("li.item-a").parent().css("background-color", "red");

The result of this call is a red background for the level-2 list. Since we do not supply a selector expression, the parent element is unequivocally included as part of the object. If we had supplied one, the element would be tested for a match before it was included.

Shows the parent of each element as (parent > child). Check the View Source to see the raw html.

  <span>span, </span>
  <b>b </b>

    <em>em </em>

    <span>span, </span>
      <b>b, </b>
  <b>b </b>
p {
  margin: 10px;
$("*", document.body).each(function () {
  var parentTag = $(this).parent().get(0).tagName;
  $(this).prepend(document.createTextNode(parentTag + " > "));

Find the parent element of each paragraph with a class "selected".

<div class="selected"><p>Hello Again</p></div>
$("p").parent(".selected").css("background", "yellow");

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