Meaning

A trapezoid is a quadrilateral v at least one pair that parallel sides. No other attributes matter. (In English-speaking countries outside of north America, the indistinguishable term is trapezium.)

The parallel sides might be vertical , horizontal , or slanting . In fact, through the definition, even this

is a trapezoid because it has “at the very least one pair of parallel sides” (and no other attributes matter), as room
. In these figures, the various other two sides room parallel, too and also so they fulfill not just the needs for being a trapezoid (quadrilateral through at least one pair the parallel sides) but additionally the requirements for being a parallelogram.

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The meaning given over is the one that is embraced within the mathematics community and, increasingly, in the education community. Plenty of sources concerned K-12 education have historically minimal the meaning of trapezoid to require exactly one pair of parallel sides. This narrower watch excludes parallelograms as a subset of trapezoids, and also leaves just the figures like , , and also . This narrower an interpretation treats trapezoids together if they space triangles through “one vertex cut off parallel come the the contrary side.” also with the minimal definition, the is necessary for student to check out non-standard examples — asymmetric choose the green and tan examples, and also in non-“level” orientations prefer the red example — so that the image that they develop focuses top top the essential feature: the pair the parallel sides.

Classifying trapezoids

Parallelograms through special features, choose right angles or every congruent sides (or both), are given their very own distinctive names: rectangle, rhombus, and also square. The just special attribute of a trapezoid that is forgive its very own distinctive surname is the 2nd pair that parallel sides, which renders the unique trapezoid a parallelogram. Once two political parties (other than the bases) are the same length, the trapezoid is described as isosceles (an “isosceles trapezoid”), just as triangles v two equal-length political parties (other 보다 the base) are dubbed isosceles triangles. No various other distinctive surname are supplied for trapezoids through special features (like best angles or three congruent sides).

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What’s in a word?

The suffix -oid says being “like” something, without being quite the same: a spheroid is sphere-like, yet not have to a perfect sphere; a humanoid is choose a human, yet not human; and a trapezoid is trapeze-shaped, yet not a trapeze. The modern definition of trapeze argues a circus waver (that is regularly trapezoidal in shape, the seat gift parallel come the bar indigenous which the trapeze hangs), yet trapeze initially meant “table,” indigenous tra (‘four’ as in tetra-) pez (‘leg’ or ‘foot’ which we an ext often view as ped as in pedal or pedestrian).