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The template {{term}} is used in template-structured glossaries to create terms to be defined, that are properly structured, have semantic value, and can be linked to as if independent sections. It is a wrapper for <dt>...</dt>, the description list term HTML element. The template has a mnemonic redirect at {{dt}}.

Basic usage:

{{glossary end}}

Inline templates, reference citations, wikimarkup styles, etc., can be applied to the term in the second parameter (|content= or |2=) as long as it remains without markup in the first parameter (|term= or |1=). Technically, the explicit parameter names are optional if the term or content does not contain the "=" character, but as any editors can add material, including templates or URLs with this character in them, it is always safest to explicitly name or number the parameters.

  • This will work: {{term|term=E=MC²}}
  • This will work: {{term|1=E=MC²}}
  • This will fail: {{term|E=MC²}}

More complex usage is typically:

{{term|term=term with no markup |content=term with markup}}


{{term|1=term with no markup |2=term with markup}}


{{term|1=term with no markup |content=term with markup}}

Wiki-styling and linking the term

If the second or |content= parameter is styled with wikimarkup, linked, or otherwise altered inside the template, the term must also be retained in unstyled form as the first or |term= parameter. Failing to do so will cause the template to malfunction, since it must have a "clean" term name to use as the id of the element, for linking purposes, among other reasons. The order intentionally mirrors that of wikilinking ([[title|styled]]).

  • Correct: {{term|1=esprit de corps|''esprit de corps''}}
  • Wrong: {{term|1=''esprit de corps''}}

Style cannot be applied around the template, either, as it is a container for content (the term), not content itself (and doing so will produce invalid markup that will have unpredictable results depending upon browser):

  • Wrong: ''{{term|1=esprit de corps}}''

For the same reasons that links to other pages are discouraged in headings, links are discouraged in glossary terms:

  • Deprecated: {{term|1=esprit de corps|''[[esprit de corps]]''}}
  • Preferred: {{term|1=esprit de corps|''esprit de corps''}} , and use of a {{ghat}} hatnote in the {{defn}} definition to link to the main article Esprit de corps.

Again, as with the first parameter (the term) itself, if the "=" character (equals sign) is used in this second parameter, the syntax requires that the parameter be explicitly specified (and because many URLs, e.g. in reference citations, can contain this character, it is always safest to number or name the parameters):



or named:


The template {{anchor}} can also be used in the |content= a.k.a. |2= parameter, e.g. to provide the plural of the term (the most common usage), an alternative spelling, the old name of an entry that was linked to but has since changed, or a shortcut link anchor name:

{{term|1=shortstop |content=shortstop{{anchor|shortstops|short-stop|short stop|sslink}}}}

As with styled terms, the second parameter must be used to provide the "bare" term. It is not necessary to add the term itself to the {{anchor}} template when using {{term}}. By contrast, when using semicolon-delimited terms in unstructured glossaries, the term does need to be added as an anchor explicitly if link anchorage is desired (which is almost always the case):

;shortstop{{anchor|shortstop|shortstops|short-stop|short stop|sslink}}

or use {{vanchor}}

;{{vanchor|shortstop|shortstops|short-stop|short stop|sslink}}

(Strictly speaking, this fact has nothing to do with this template, but may be of use to editors who are converting from one glossary style to the other.)

Multiple terms sharing a definition

Two or more {{terms}} can be used for synonyms with a shared definition, though keep in mind that people looking for one and not finding it where they expect it to be alphabetized are liable to assume it is missing if you do not create a cross-reference entry. The parameter |multi=y is used on second and subsequent terms to visually group the terms close together so it is clear that they share a definition:


{{defn|1=A mild analgesic of the non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) family...}}
{{term|1=diacetylmorphine |multi=y}}
{{term|1=diamorpine |multi=y}}
{{defn|1=A synthetic narcotic drug of the opiate family...}}
{{defn|1=An antacid of the proton pump inhibitor family...}}
Result: vs. no |multi=y
A mild analgesic of the non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) family...
A synthetic narcotic drug of the opiate family...
An antacid of the proton pump inhibitor family...
A mild analgesic of the non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) family...
A synthetic narcotic drug of the opiate family...
An antacid of the proton pump inhibitor family...


To indicate the language of a non-English term, use the {{lang}} template and the ISO 639 language codes as documented at that template:

{{term|1=esprit de corps |content=''{{lang|fr|esprit de corps}}''}}

This shows no visual change for most languages:

esprit de corps

For all non-English languages this provides many metadata features, but it is essential for those that do not use the Latin alphabet, so that the content displays properly in various browsers.

If it is useful to indicate the name of the language, there are individual templates for most languages, with names based on the ISO codes, and which automatically italicize the foreign content:

{{term|1=esprit de corp |content={{lang-fr|esprit de corps}}s}}

which renders as:

French: esprit de corps

When two or more language variants of a term share the same definition:

As detailed above, two or more terms, as variations or alternatives, can share definitions. The most common use case for this is presenting the term in two variants of English. Example:

{{defn|1=A resilient wheel covering usually made of vulcanized rubber.}}


British English: tyre
American English: tire
A resilient wheel covering usually made of vulcanized rubber.

The template has no |lang= parameter (and shouldn't – there are too many pitfalls).

Applying CSS styles to the term

The |style= parameter will pass CSS styling on to the <dt> element, e.g. |style=font-family:serif;. I.e., this styles the term itself, not the definitions of it, other term entries, or the glossary as a whole. This feature is uncommonly but sometimes importantly needed in articles (usually for formatting the appearance of an specific entry for some reason, e.g. certain mathematical constants and the like that are always given in a serif font). It can also be useful outside of articles, for things like matching custom projectpage or userpage style.

Other parameters

HTML5 update:

Most of the restrictions on the content of id have been removed, so id values no longer have to begin with an [a-z][A-Z] alphabetic character, avoid most punctuation marks, or suffer other such limitations. Wikipedia's MediaWiki engine is smart enough to auto-escape any problematic characters, on the fly.

The |id= parameter can be used to assign a one-word, case-sensitive ID name to term. It must be unique on the page. This can be used as another #link target, and could have other metadata uses. By default, the |term= a.k.a. |1= parameter is already set as the ID, and this should rarely be overridden, unless there are two identical terms on the same page creating conflicting IDs. Usually the {{anchor}} template is used to add more link targets to an entry (see #Wiki-styling and linking the term for details).

The |class= parameter will pass one or more space-separated CSS classes on to the <dt> element, in addition to the automatically included class glossary. There is rarely any reason to do this.


This shows both a very simple then a rather complex instance:



{{defn|1=Definition of term 1.}}

{{term|term=arglefarst |content=''{{lang|xx|arglefarst}}''{{anchor|argle-farst|argle farst}} }}
{{defn|no=1 |defn=
1. Beginning of first definition of term 2
{{gbq|1=Block quotation in first definition of term 2.}}
Conclusion of first definition of term 2.

{{defn|no=2 |defn=Second definition of term 2.}}

{{glossary end}}

Definition of term 1.
1.  Beginning of first definition of term 2

Block quotation in first definition of term 2.

Conclusion of first definition of term 2.

2.  Second definition of term 2.

Images, hatnotes and other content

Images, hatnotes and other "add-in" content intended to immediately follow the {{term}} must be used at the top of (inside) the first {{defn}} of the {{term}}. They cannot be placed between the {{term}} and {{defn}} or it will break the glossary markup. Images can, of course, be placed elsewhere within the {{defn}}, and bottom-notes like {{more}} can be placed at the end of, but inside, a {{defn}}. When used with a multi-definition term, the definition in which the {{ghat}} appears must be manually numbered (usually 1&nbsp; ..., as shown in the example below).

{{term|1= colour ball |content=colour ball {{anchor|coloured ball|coloured balls|colour|colours|color ball}} }}
{{defn| 1=
[[File:Set of Snookerballs.png|thumb|right|150px|A complete set of snooker balls, with six '''colour balls''']]
{{ghat|Also '''coloured ball(s)''', '''colour(s)'''; American spelling '''color''' sometimes also used.}}
1.&nbsp; In [[snooker]], any of the {{cuegloss|object ball|object balls}} that are not {{cuegloss|red ball|reds}}.
{{defn|no=2 |1=
In [[Blackball (pool)|blackball]], a generic, collective term for the red and yellow {{cuegloss|group|groups}} of object balls.
{{glossary end}}

colour ball

Also coloured ball(s), colour(s); American spelling color sometimes also used.

A complete set of snooker balls, with six colour balls

1.  In snooker, any of the object balls that are not reds.

2.  In blackball, a generic, collective term for the red and yellow groups of object balls.

Technical details

What this template does on the technical level is wrap the term in the <dfn>...</dfn> HTML element to semantically mark the term as the defining instance on the page of the defined term, and puts this marked-up content inside a <dt>...</dt> description list (a.k.a. definition list, association list) term element, with CSS class="glossary". That class isn't doing anything yet, but it could later, like the light font size increase.



See also

  • {{glossary}} – Half of a template pair; uses <dl> with a class to open the structured glossary definition list that {{glossend}} closes.
  • {{glossary end}} – The other half of this template pair; uses </dl> to close the definition list that {{gloss}} opens.
  • {{term}} – The glossary term to which the {{defn}} definition applies; a customized <dt> with a class and an embedded <dfn>.
  • {{defn}} – The definition that applies to the {{term}}; uses <dd> with a class
  • {{ghat}} – a hatnote template properly formatted for the top of a {{defn}} definition
  • {{gbq}} – a block quotation template properly formatted for inclusion in a {{defn}} definition
  • {{glossary link}} – meta-template for creating shortcut templates for linking to definitions in specific glossaries
  • Wikipedia:Manual of Style/Glossaries