What is the difference between and ?

<section> means that the content inside is grouped (i.e. relates to a single theme), and should appear as an entry in an outline of the page.

<div>, on the other hand, does not convey any meaning, aside from any found in its class, lang and title attributes.

So no: using a <div> does not define a section in HTML.

From the spec:


The <section> element represents a generic section of a document or application. A section, in this context, is a thematic grouping of content. Each section should be identified, typically by including a heading (h1-h6 element) as a child of the <section> element.

Examples of sections would be chapters, the various tabbed pages in a tabbed dialog box, or the numbered sections of a thesis. A Web site’s home page could be split into sections for an introduction, news items, and contact information.

The <section> element is not a generic container element. When an element is needed only for styling purposes or as a convenience for scripting, authors are encouraged to use the <div> element instead. A general rule is that the <section> element is appropriate only if the element’s contents would be listed explicitly in the document’s outline.



The <div> element has no special meaning at all. It represents its children. It can be used with the class, lang, and title attributes to mark up semantics common to a group of consecutive elements.

Note: Authors are strongly encouraged to view the <div> element as an element of last resort, for when no other element is suitable. Use of more appropriate elements instead of the <div> element leads to better accessibility for readers and easier maintainability for authors.


Sections are most relevant in landmark navigation for assistive technology. To appear in the document outline or landmark list, they need a name, which can be assigned by means of aria-label, aria-labelledby or title:

<section aria-labelledby="s3-h2">
  <h2 id="s3-h2">Introduction</h2>

For example VoiceOver on Mac then can provide an outline to navigate directly to that section.

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