CSS is Like a Waterfall

The selector depths are like different terraces.

The order of things are where it comes in the river.

As an element goes floating down the river trying to get styled, it picks up new rules and throws old ones out.

Given the CSS:

.container {
  max-width: 200px;
  margin: auto;

.top-nav {
  max-width: 400px;
  background: brown;

ul.top-nav {
  background: rebeccapurple;
  color: white;

The element <ul class="top-nav container">...</ul> would go through the following river/waterfall:

 .container    .top-nav
                       |)      ul.top-nav

So along the river, the element would first visit the styles for .container and pick up a max-width: 200px and margin: auto. Upon reaching .top-nav it appears there's not enough room on the raft for two max widths so max-width is now 400px, and background: brown is picked up too.

Down the waterfall the adventuresome element plunges and comes to a rock named ul.top-nav. Here, the background of brown is left to stain the river, but a beautiful rebeccapurple takes it's place in the raft and is joined by a lovely white text color.

As the brave element continued down on it's way, it knew it could bet on a margin: auto, max-width: 400px, background: rebeccapurple, and color: white to get through.

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