Generic keywords

This chapter lists some miscellaneous properties that are available for all JSON types.


JSON Schema includes a few keywords, that aren’t strictly used for validation, but are used to describe parts of a schema. None of these “annotation” keywords are required, but they are encouraged for good practice, and can make your schema “self-documenting”.

The title and description keywords must be strings. A “title” will preferably be short, whereas a “description” will provide a more lengthy explanation about the purpose of the data described by the schema.

The default keyword specifies a default value. This value is not used to fill in missing values during the validation process. Non-validation tools such as documentation generators or form generators may use this value to give hints to users about how to use a value. However, default is typically used to express that if a value is missing, then the value is semantically the same as if the value was present with the default value. The value of default should validate against the schema in which it resides, but that isn’t required.

New in draft 6 The examples keyword is a place to provide an array of examples that validate against the schema. This isn’t used for validation, but may help with explaining the effect and purpose of the schema to a reader. Each entry should validate against the schema in which it resides, but that isn’t strictly required. There is no need to duplicate the default value in the examples array, since default will be treated as another example.

New in draft 7 The boolean keywords readOnly and writeOnly are typically used in an API context. readOnly indicates that a value should not be modified. It could be used to indicate that a PUT request that changes a value would result in a 400 Bad Request response. writeOnly indicates that a value may be set, but will remain hidden. In could be used to indicate you can set a value with a PUT request, but it would not be included when retrieving that record with a GET request.

New in draft 2019-09 The deprecated keyword is a boolean that indicates that the instance value the keyword applies to should not be used and may be removed in the future.

  "title": "Match anything",
  "description": "This is a schema that matches anything.",
  "default": "Default value",
  "examples": [
  "deprecated": true,
  "readOnly": true,
  "writeOnly": false


New in draft 7 $comment

The $comment keyword is strictly intended for adding comments to a schema. Its value must always be a string. Unlike the annotations title, description, and examples, JSON schema implementations aren’t allowed to attach any meaning or behavior to it whatsoever, and may even strip them at any time. Therefore, they are useful for leaving notes to future editors of a JSON schema, but should not be used to communicate to users of the schema.

Enumerated values

The enum keyword is used to restrict a value to a fixed set of values. It must be an array with at least one element, where each element is unique.

The following is an example for validating street light colors:

  "enum": ["red", "amber", "green"]

You can use enum even without a type, to accept values of different types. Let’s extend the example to use null to indicate “off”, and also add 42, just for fun.

  "enum": ["red", "amber", "green", null, 42]

Constant values

New in draft 6

The const keyword is used to restrict a value to a single value.

For example, if you only support shipping to the United States for export reasons:

  "properties": {
    "country": {
      "const": "United States of America"
{ "country": "United States of America" }
{ "country": "Canada" }