How to fix: Element p not allowed as child of element dl in this context. (suppressing further errors from this subtree.)

Most Likely Cause and Fix

Your markup includes a <p> element inside a <dl> and that this is not allowed. Re-organise your markup so that this is not the case.

You may have an unclosed <p> element further up the page that is confusing the validator. Check this also.

What This Error Means

HTML is often comprised of elements nested inside other elements, such as the placing of an anchor within a paragraph:

<p>
    Hello <a href="http://example.com">World!</a>
</p>

There are rules regarding which elements can be nested inside other elements and when this is allowed to happen.

Most notably, block-level elements, such as <div>, are not allowed inside inline elements such as <span>.

This error is telling you that your markup includes a <p> element inside a <dl> and that this is not allowed.

How To Fix It

If the error makes immediate sense

If you look at the line and column number given in the specific error you encountered and you can see that you clearly have a <p> element inside a <dl>, you need to re-organise your markup so that this is not the case.

This can be a non-trivial task but here is some general advice:

  • don't use block-level elements inside inline elements

  • some elements can contain only a small set of child elements, such as lists (<ol> and <ul>) allowing only list items (<li>) as direct children

If the error does not make immediate sense

Check again. And then check again one more time.

The HTML validator can get confused. There's only so much sense it can try to derive from invalid markup.

If there really is not a <p> element inside a <dl> in your markup at the point indicated by the line and column number in the specific message you encountered, you will probably find that there is an unclosed <p> element further up the page that is causing confusion.

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