What Is An Angle Bracket?

What is an Angle Bracket?

What is an Angle Bracket?

Welcome to another installment of our “Definitions” series, where we delve into the meaning and significance of various terms in the world of technology and web development. In today’s post, we will be exploring the concept of angle brackets.

Angle brackets, also known as chevrons or triangular brackets, are a commonly used punctuation symbol in various programming languages and markup languages, such as HTML and XML. They are typically represented by the characters “<" and ">“. While angle brackets may seem like a simple and mundane element, they play a vital role in structuring and organizing content on the web.

Key Takeaways:

  • Angle brackets are punctuation symbols used in programming and markup languages.
  • They are used to enclose and define various elements and tags in web development.

Now that we’ve established the basic definition of angle brackets, let’s take a closer look at their function and significance in web development:

The Role of Angle Brackets in Web Development

1. Marking the Beginning and End of Tags: In HTML and XML, angle brackets are used to enclose various elements, such as headings, paragraphs, images, and links. They indicate the beginning and end of a particular tag, allowing web browsers and other software to interpret and render the content correctly.

2. Nesting Elements: Angle brackets play a crucial role in nesting or hierarchically organizing elements within an HTML or XML document. By using opening and closing angle brackets, developers can encapsulate elements within one another, creating a well-structured and hierarchical layout.

3. Differentiating Opening and Closing Tags: In markup languages, the use of angle brackets enables the differentiation between opening tags and closing tags. Opening tags are denoted by “” while closing tags use ““. This distinction informs the browser or parser where one element ends and another begins.

4. Self-Closing Tags: Angle brackets are also used for self-closing tags in markup languages like HTML. For example, the <br> tag is used to create a line break and does not require a matching closing tag.

5. Special Characters: In certain cases, angle brackets may be used to display or represent special characters, such as < and >, in web content without being interpreted as markup or code.


Angle brackets are an integral part of web development, providing structure and organization to markup languages like HTML and XML. Whether they enclose tags, denote opening and closing elements, or facilitate nesting, angle brackets have a significant impact on how information is presented and interpreted on the web. So, the next time you encounter these humble punctuation marks, remember their crucial role in shaping the digital landscape.