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Syntax <ABBR>...</ABBR>
Attribute Specifications
Contents Inline elements
Contained in Inline elements, block-level elements

The ABBR element is used to markup abbreviations. The TITLE attribute is useful in conjunction with ABBR to give the long form of the abbreviation, allowing visual browsers to provide the long form as a "tooltip". If the short form is a pronounceable word, the ACRONYM element should be used instead of ABBR.


  • <ABBR TITLE="United Nations">U.N.</ABBR>
  • He weighs 180 <ABBR TITLE=pounds>lbs.</ABBR>
  • <ABBR TITLE="Parti Québécois" LANG=fr-CA>PQ</ABBR>
  • <ACRONYM TITLE="North Atlantic Treaty Organization">NATO</ACRONYM>

Some short forms, such as "SQL" and "URL," are pronounced as words by some but pronounced letter-by-letter by others. In such cases, the ABBR element should be favored over ACRONYM. A style sheet could be used to suggest the aural rendering. For example, one could use

<ABBR TITLE="Uniform Resource Locator">URL</ABBR>

with the following CSS2 style sheet:

abbr[title="Uniform Resource Locator"] { speak: spell-out }

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