Is jQuery a Scripting Language?


Scott Campbell

In the world of web development, jQuery is a popular JavaScript library that simplifies the process of manipulating HTML documents, handling events, and creating animations. However, it is important to note that jQuery itself is not a scripting language. Let’s delve deeper into what exactly jQuery is and how it differs from scripting languages.

What is a Scripting Language?

Before we can determine whether jQuery is a scripting language or not, let’s first understand what a scripting language is. A scripting language is a programming language that allows developers to write scripts to control the behavior of software applications. These scripts are typically interpreted rather than compiled.

Scripting languages are often used for tasks such as:

  • Automating repetitive tasks
  • Manipulating data
  • Creating interactive web pages
  • Building dynamic web applications

jQuery: A JavaScript Library

jQuery is not a standalone programming language but rather a library built on top of JavaScript. JavaScript, on the other hand, is a full-fledged scripting language that can be used for both client-side and server-side development.

The purpose of jQuery is to simplify common tasks in JavaScript by providing an easy-to-use API (Application Programming Interface). It abstracts away many complexities of raw JavaScript code and allows developers to write concise and efficient code for various web-related operations.

The key features of jQuery include:

  • Selecting and manipulating HTML elements
  • Handling events such as clicks and form submissions
  • Animating elements and creating transitions
  • Making AJAX requests

Using jQuery in HTML Documents

To use jQuery in an HTML document, you need to include the jQuery library by adding the following script tag to your HTML file:

<script src=""></script>

Once the jQuery library is included, you can start using jQuery syntax and methods to interact with your HTML elements.

For example:

  $(document).ready(function() {
    $('h1').css('color', 'red');
    $('button').click(function() {
      alert('Button clicked!');

In the above code snippet, we are using jQuery to select all <h1> elements and change their text color to red. We are also adding a click event listener to all <button> elements which displays an alert when clicked.


In conclusion, jQuery is not a scripting language itself but rather a JavaScript library that simplifies web development tasks. It provides an easy-to-use API for manipulating HTML documents, handling events, creating animations, and more. JavaScript remains the scripting language that powers jQuery and allows developers to build dynamic and interactive web applications.

By utilizing the power of JavaScript along with the convenience of jQuery, developers can create engaging and dynamic web experiences for their users.

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