HTML <q> cite Attribute

The cite attribute on a <q> tag sets a reference or citation to the quote.

This value has no visual effect but is readable by JavaScript, screen readers, search engines, and more.



A cite attribute on a <q> element: a quotation of a poem by William Shakepeare. The citation contains a URL to the source which is not visible.

To be, or not to be, that is the question
-- by William Shakespeare.

  <q cite=",_or_not_to_be">To be, or not to be, that is the question</q><br/>
  -- by William Shakespeare.

Using cite

The cite attribute specifies a URL to the reference of the quote.

The URL is not visible, but it is readable by screen readers, search engines, JavaScript code, and others.

cite accepts these URLs:

  • absolute URL - links to another website or domain (e.g.
  • relative URL - links to another page under the same domain

Tip: When available, include the source of the quote.


<q cite="URL">



Value Description
URL URL or path to a document that explains the quotation.

Browser support

Here is when cite support started for each browser:

1.0 Sep 2008
1.0 Sep 2002
1.0 Aug 1995
1.0 Jan 2006
1.0 Jan 2003

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Last updated on Sep 30, 2023