Most of the tags in hyper-text mark-up language (HTML) have an English word or phrase associated with that tag.

For example, the kbd tag is an abbreviation of the English word keyboard.

What English word or phrase is the div tag an abbreviation of?

Below is an example of code written in HTML which uses the div tag

<!DOCTYPE html>
    <title>This is a title</title>
        <p>Hello world!</p>

2 Answers 2


The DIV element is first defined in the HTML 3.0 standard:


The DIV element is used with the CLASS attribute to represent different kinds of containers, e.g. chapter, section, abstract, or appendix.

And in the 3.2 standard:

DIV elements can be used to structure HTML documents as a hierarchy of divisions.

It appears in an example in the 2.0 standard, but is never defined as a valid tag. The 4.0 standard instead describes it as "a generic mechanism for adding structure to documents".


I have always assumed it stood for division.

From w3schools

The tag defines a division or a section in an HTML document.

  • 12
    I would recommend against citing w3schools, if you can avoid it. They're wrong as often as they're right.
    – wizzwizz4
    Dec 17, 2023 at 19:40
  • 5
    @wizzwizz4 I'm not really in web dev, but it does seem like they've cleaned up their act since the early 2010s.
    – detly
    Dec 18, 2023 at 3:26
  • 6
    @detly They're no longer outright wrong most of the time, but it's still not high-quality content
    – Bergi
    Dec 18, 2023 at 7:01
  • 2
    Plus, the same information is often available from MDN, which generally seems to be at least as reliable as w3schools is.
    – David Z
    Dec 18, 2023 at 9:21
  • 4
    If nothing else, MDN cites its sources.
    – OrangeDog
    Dec 18, 2023 at 11:11

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.