A fully qualified domain name (FQDN), sometimes also referred to as an absolute domain name, is a domain name that specifies its exact location in the tree hierarchy of the Domain Name System (DNS). It specifies all domain levels, including the top-level domain and the root zone. A fully qualified domain name is distinguished by its lack of ambiguity: it can be interpreted only in one way.
The DNS root domain is unnamed which is expressed by having an empty label in the DNS hierarchy, resulting in a fully qualified domain name ending with the top-level domain. However, in some cases the full stop (period) character is required at the end of the fully qualified domain name.
In contrast to a domain name that is fully specified, a domain name that does not include the full path of labels up to the DNS root is often called a partially qualified domain name.
A fully qualified domain name consists of a list of domain labels representing the hierarchy from the lowest relevant level in the DNS to the top-level domain (TLD). The domain labels are concatenated using the full stop (dot, period) character as separator between labels.
The DNS root is unnamed, expressed as the empty label terminated by the dot. This is most notable in DNS zone files in which a fully qualified domain name must be specified with a trailing dot. For example, somehost.example.com. explicitly specifies an absolute domain name that ends with the empty top level domain label.