Meaning

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

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

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

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The meaning given over is the one the is accepted within the mathematics neighborhood and, increasingly, in the education and learning community. Plenty of sources concerned K-12 education have historically minimal the definition of trapezoid to require exactly one pair of parallel sides. This narrower see excludes parallelograms as a subset of trapezoids, and leaves just the figures like , , and . This narrower meaning treats trapezoids as if they are triangles through “one vertex reduced off parallel to the opposite side.” also with the restricted definition, the is vital for student to see non-standard instances — asymmetric prefer the green and also tan examples, and also in non-“level” orientations like the red example — so the the picture that they develop focuses ~ above the important feature: the pair that parallel sides.

Classifying trapezoids

Parallelograms v special features, prefer right angles or every congruent sides (or both), are provided their very own distinctive names: rectangle, rhombus, and also square. The only special function of a trapezoid the is awarded its own distinctive name is the 2nd pair of parallel sides, which renders the one-of-a-kind trapezoid a parallelogram. Once two sides (other than the bases) room the exact same length, the trapezoid is referred to as isosceles (an “isosceles trapezoid”), just as triangles through two equal-length political parties (other than the base) are dubbed isosceles triangles. No other distinctive surname are used for trapezoids with special features (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 quite the same: a spheroid is sphere-like, yet not necessarily a perfect sphere; a humanoid is choose a human, however not human; and a trapezoid is trapeze-shaped, yet not a trapeze. The modern definition of trapeze says a circus swing (that is regularly trapezoidal in shape, the seat gift parallel to the bar from which the trapeze hangs), however trapeze initially meant “table,” indigenous tra (‘four’ as in tetra-) pez (‘leg’ or ‘foot’ which we an ext often see as ped together in pedal or pedestrian).