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How Is there a CSS parent selector?

How do I select the <li> element that is a direct parent of the anchor element?

In example my CSS would be something like this:

li < a.active {
    property: value;
}

Obviously there are ways of doing this with JavaScript but I'm hoping that there is some sort of workaround that exists native to CSS Level 2.

The menu that I am trying to style is being spewed out by a CMS so I can't move the active element to the <li> element... (unless I theme the menu creation module which I'd rather not do).

Any ideas?

There is currently no way to select the parent of an element in CSS.

If there was a way to do it, it would be in either of the current CSS selectors specs:

In the meantime, you'll have to resort to JavaScript if you need to select a parent element.


The Selectors Level 4 Working Draft includes a :has() pseudo-class that works the same as the jQuery implementation. As of 2018, this is still not supported by any browser.

Using :has() the original question could be solved with this:

li:has(> a.active) { /* styles to apply to the li tag */ }
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