Meaning

A trapezoid is a quadrilateral through at the very least one pair that parallel sides. No other features matter. (In English-speaking nations outside of phibìc America, the equivalent term is trapezium.)

The parallel sides may be upright , horizontal , or slanting . In fact, by the definition, even this

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is a trapezoid because it has “at the very least one pair the parallel sides” (and no other attributes matter), as room
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. In this figures, the other two sides room parallel, too and also so they fulfill not only the needs for gift a trapezoid (quadrilateral through at least one pair that parallel sides) but likewise the requirements for gift a parallelogram.

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The meaning given over is the one the is embraced within the mathematics neighborhood and, increasingly, in the education and learning community. Countless sources regarded K-12 education and learning have historically restricted the an interpretation of trapezoid to call for exactly one pair that parallel sides. This narrower view excludes parallelograms as a subset that trapezoids, and also leaves just the figures like , , and also . This narrower definition treats trapezoids together if they room triangles v “one vertex cut off parallel come the opposite side.” even with the restricted definition, that is vital for college student to check out non-standard examples — asymmetric like the green and tan examples, and also in non-“level” orientations like the red example — so that the picture that they construct focuses top top the essential feature: the pair the parallel sides.

Classifying trapezoids

Parallelograms through special features, prefer right angles or all congruent political parties (or both), are provided their very own distinctive names: rectangle, rhombus, and square. The only special attribute of a trapezoid the is vested its very own distinctive name is the second pair of parallel sides, which provides the special trapezoid a parallelogram. When two sides (other than the bases) space the exact same length, the trapezoid is described as isosceles (an “isosceles trapezoid”), just as triangles v two equal-length political parties (other than the base) are dubbed isosceles triangles. No other distinctive names are used for trapezoids v special attributes (like appropriate angles or 3 congruent sides).

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What’s in a word?

The suffix -oid suggests being “like” something, there is no being fairly the same: a spheroid is sphere-like, yet not have to a perfect sphere; a humanoid is favor a human, yet not human; and a trapezoid is trapeze-shaped, but not a trapeze. The modern meaning of trapeze argues a circus waver (that is regularly trapezoidal in shape, the seat being parallel to the bar from which the trapeze hangs), however trapeze initially meant “table,” from tra (‘four’ as in tetra-) pez (‘leg’ or ‘foot’ which we much more often check out as ped as in pedal or pedestrian).