The animation-name property in CSS3 is used to define and apply animations to HTML elements. Its purpose is to reference a set of keyframes, effectively ‘naming’ the animation. This name is then used as a handle to apply the animation sequence defined within @keyframes to the selected HTML elements.

For instance, let’s consider the example of a button that changes color when hovered over:

@keyframes color-change {
  0% {
    background-color: blue;

  100% {
    background-color: green;

button:hover {
  animation-name: color-change;
  animation-duration: 2s;

In this example, we define an animation using the @keyframes rule, and we name it color-change. This animation changes the background color of an element from blue to green. By setting the animation-name of the button:hover selector to color-change, we apply this animation to the button element when it is hovered over. The animation-duration property is used to control how long this transition will take, in this case, 2 seconds.

It’s crucial to note that if the name specified via animation-name doesn’t match any declared @keyframes rules, no animation will occur. The browser will simply ignore the property.

In practice, animation-name is incredibly versatile. You can use it to animate almost any CSS property: position, color, opacity, size, and many more. It’s used in various interactive elements across the web, from buttons and drop-down menus to loading animations and page transitions.

However, animation-name doesn’t work in isolation. To fully control your animations, you will often use it in combination with other animation properties. For example, animation-duration controls how long the animation takes to complete one cycle, and animation-iteration-count determines how many times the animation plays.

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