find() Vs. closest() in jquery

The jQuery .find and .closest selectors are mutually complementary, and when employed in conjunction, they constitute the most efficient approach for pinpointing the relevant element in response to a specific event occurrence. These selectors synergistically empower developers to precisely traverse the DOM structure, facilitating a streamlined and effective way of locating the target element.

jQuery .find()

The jQuery .find() method retrieves the descendants of each element within the present set of matched elements, further refining the selection by applying a specified selector, a jQuery object j, or a specific element. Essentially, this method traverses the DOM hierarchy by descending into the child elements and their subsequent descendants, creating a comprehensive search within the hierarchical structure.


In the above code, the find() method search the decedent of the firstSelector element and return all elements that match secondSelector.

jQuery .closest()

For each element in the given set, the jQuery .closest() method retrieves the first element that satisfies the provided selector. This search is conducted by evaluating the element itself and traversing upwards through its ancestors within the DOM hierarchy. The method ascends through parent elements, encompassing the current element in the examination process. Consequently, the resulting jQuery object consists of either zero or one element for each element in the initial set, representing the closest matching ancestor found through the traversal.


In the above code, the closest() method selects the element firstSelector and then traverses the dom upwards and returns the first element that matches the secondSelector

Both will first test the initial element before going through parent/child elements.


The find() method in jQuery is used to retrieve descendant elements within a matched set, filtering them by a specified selector. In contrast, the closest() method traverses up the DOM tree from each element in the matched set, including the elements themselves, to find the first ancestor that matches a specified selector.