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The {{Glossary}} template is used with {{Glossary end}} to explicitly bracket a glossary or glossary-like description list (also called a definition list or association list). This is a good practice anywhere lists are used for defining large numbers of technical terms. Together, the template pair invoke the <dl> description list HTML5 element.

Incidentally, they also prevent the MediaWiki parser engine from creating redundant definition list code (<dl>...</dl>) around terms and definitions if they have blank lines between them, as they often do, especially in non-structured glossaries.

Basic format

Typical use most often resembles:

{{Term|term=glossary term}}
{{Glossary end}}

…which generates the output…

glossary term

Full syntax

The following demonstrates a use case with all available parameters in use:

{{Glossary|id=api_19|style=font-family: Georgia;|class=nowrap}}
{{Term|term=glossary term|content='''term'''|id=id|noid=n|style=text-decoration: underline #000 double 1px;|class=nowrap}}
{{Defn|defn=First definition.|num=1|term=id|id=def1|style=font-family: sans-serif;|class=nowrap}}
{{Defn|defn=Second definition.|num=2|term=id|id=def2|style=font-family: sans-serif;|class=nowrap}}
{{Glossary end}}

…thereby producing the following…

1.  First definition.
2.  Second definition.


  • |id= can be used to assign a one-word ID name to the glossary. This can be used as a #id link target, and could have other metadata uses.
  • |style= will pass CSS styling on to the <dl> element. This styles the definition list itself, as a container, not the individual terms and definitions with it. There is rarely any reason to do this.
  • |class= will pass one or more space-delimited CSS classes on to the <dl> element, in addition to the automatically included class glossary. There is rarely any reason to do this, either.


This shows both a very simple then a rather complex instance in a structured glossary (including an entry with a block quotation):

== A&ndash;M ==
{{Defn|1=Definition of first term.}}

{{Term|term=arglefarst|content=''arglefarst''{{Anchor|argle-farst|argle farst}}}}
{{Defn|num=1|defn=Beginning of first definition of second term
<blockquote class="templatequote glossary-blockquote" style="font: oblique small-caps 500 1.05em/1.4 Georgia, serif; margin: 0 0 -1.35em; padding: 0 0 1.2em 3em;">Block Quotation In First Definition Of Second Term.</blockquote>
<span style="margin-left: 19px;">Conclusion of first definition of second term.</span>
{{Defn|num=2|defn=Second definition of second term.}}
{{Glossary end}}
Definition of first term.
1.  Beginning of first definition of second term

Block Quotation In First Definition Of Second Term.

Conclusion of first definition of second term.
2.  Second definition of second term.


This family of templates, like the underlying definition list code, is primarily intended for definitional uses, but can have other applications. The Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.1 and the HTML 5.01 Specification say:

The dl element represents an association list consisting of … name-value groups (a description list). … Name-value groups may be terms and definitions, metadata topics and values, questions and answers, or any other groups of name-value data. Thus, when advertising a product, one might use a definition list:

Lower cost
The new version of this product costs significantly less than the previous one!
Easier to use
We've changed the product so that it's much easier to use!
Safe for kids
You can leave your kids alone in a room with this product and they won't get hurt (not a guarantee).

Accordingly, editors should feel free to use definition list markup as an alternative to bulleted or numbered lists when the material is well-suited to that style of presentation.

See also