HTML <blockquote> Tag

The HTML <blockquote> tag is used for creating the 'blockquote' element. This element represents content that is quoted from another source.

Browsers usually render <blockquote> text as indented text. This results in an indented paragraph (or multiple indented paragraphs if the <blockquote> spans multiple paragraphs). For shorter quoted text that needs to display within a non-quoted paragraph, use <q> tag. Most browsers surround <q> text with quotation marks.


The <blockquote> tag is written as <blockquote></blockquote> with the quoted content inserted between the start and end tag.

Like this:


Basic tag usage

Here is a basic example of using the <blockquote> element. Note that it is not necessary to use <p> tags inside the <blockquote> tag (although you can if you wish).

Nested <cite> Tag

The above example uses a <cite> tag to cite the source of the quote. It places this tag outside the <blockquote> element. This is optional. You could just as easily place the <cite> tag inside the <blockquote> element. Like this:

Nesting Other Elements

The <blockquote> element accepts "flow content", which is basically most tags that are used within the <body> element.

For longer quotes, you can use the <p> tag to break up each paragraph.

You can even use the <footer> tag to provide a footer for the <blockquote> element. The footer could contain the <cite> element (like in the following example).

Using the cite Attribute

You can use the cite attribute to provide the URL from where the quote came from (if any).

In this example we use the <cite> tag to refer to the source and the cite attribute to provide the URL of the source.

Note that the cite attribute is not actually intended for users, but for private use, such as server-side scripts that collect statistics about quotation usage for example. Having said that, it's possible that some user agents may follow the cite's value.


Attributes can be added to an HTML element to provide more information about how the element should appear or behave.

There are 3 kinds of attributes that you can add to your HTML tags: Element-specific, global, and event handler content attributes.

The <blockquote> element accepts the following attributes.

Element-Specific Attributes

This table shows the attributes that are specific to the <blockquote> tag/element.

citeIndicates the source of the quotation. It must be a URI (or IRI), for example the URL of a web page.

Global Attributes

The following attributes are standard across all HTML5 elements. Therefore, you can use these attributes with the <blockquote> tag , as well as with all other HTML tags.

For a full explanation of these attributes, see HTML 5 global attributes.

Event Handler Content Attributes

Event handler content attributes enable you to invoke a script from within your HTML. The script is invoked when a certain "event" occurs. Each event handler content attribute deals with a different event.

Below are the standard HTML5 event handler content attributes.

Again, you can use any of these with the <blockquote> element, as well as any other HTML5 element.

For a full explanation of these attributes, see HTML 5 event handler content attributes.

Differences Between HTML 4 & HTML 5


To see more detail on the two versions see HTML5 <blockquote> Tag and HTML4 <blockquote> Tag. Also check out the links to the official specifications below.


Here's a template for the <blockquote> tag with all available attributes for the tag (based on HTML5). These are grouped into attribute types, each type separated by a space. In many cases, you will probably only need one or two (if any) attributes. Simply remove the attributes you don't need.

For more information on attributes for this tag, see HTML5 <blockquote> Tag and HTML4 <blockquote> Tag.

Tag Details

For more details about the <blockquote> tag, see HTML5 <blockquote> Tag and HTML4 <blockquote> Tag.


Here are the official specifications for the <blockquote> element.

What's the Difference?

W3C creates "snapshot" specifications that don't change once defined. So the HTML5 specification won't change once it becomes an official recommendation. WHATWG on the other hand, develops a "living standard" that is updated on a regular basis. In general, you will probably find that the HTML living standard will be more closely aligned to the current W3C draft than to the HTML5 specification.