HTML5 <strong> Tag

The HTML <strong> tag is used to give the text strong importance, and is typically displayed in bold.

The only content permitted inside this element is phrasing content. This element must have both a start tag and an end tag. The parent of the <strong> tag can be any element that accepts phrasing content, or any element that accepts flow content.

The relative level of importance of a piece of content is given by its number of ancestor strong elements. Each strong element increases the importance of its contents.

The following style is applied to this element by default:

strong {
  font-weight: bold;

Here is an example of using this tag:

<p><strong>Warning.</strong> This dungeon is dangerous.
  <strong>Avoid the ducks.</strong> Take any gold you find.
  <strong><strong>Do not take any of the diamonds</strong>,
  they are explosive and <strong>will destroy anything within ten meters.</strong></strong> 
  You have been warned.</p>

Bold vs. Strong

Strong is a logical state, and bold is a physical state. Logical states separate presentation from the content, and by doing so allow for it to be expressed in many different ways. Perhaps instead of rendering some text as bold you want to render it red, or a different size, or underlined, or whatever. It makes more sense to change the presentational properties of strong than it does bold. This is because bold is a physical state; there is no separation of presentation and content, and making bold do anything other than bold text would be confusing and illogical.

It is important to note that <b></b> does have other uses, when one wants to draw attention without increasing importance.

Emphasis vs. Strong

While in HTML4, Strong simply indicated a stronger emphasis, in HTML5, the element is described as representing “strong importance for its contents.” This is an important distinction to make. While Emphasis is used to change the meaning of a sentence (“I love carrots” vs. “I love carrots“), Strong is used to give portions of a sentence added importance (e.g., “Warning! This is very dangerous.”) Both Strong and Emphasis can be nested to increase the relative degree of importance or stress emphasis, respectively.


This element only accepts global attributes.


See the Pen HTML strong Tag by Tutorialio (@tutorialio) on CodePen.

Further Reading

  1. Read more about the HTML <strong> element on MDN.
  2. You can also read the HTML <strong> tag reference on W3C.

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