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Trapezoid

US usage, definition 1: A quadrilateral which has a pair of opposite sides which are parallel. The parallel sides are called the bases, and the other two sides are called the legs.

US usage, definition 2: A quadrilateral which has one parallel pair of opposite sides and one non-parallel pair of opposite sides. The parallel sides are called the bases, and the other two sides are called the legs.

UK usage: The same as the US word trapezium. The UK word trapezium means the same as the US word trapezoid, and vice-versa.

Commentary: Under US definition 1, a parallelogram is a type of trapezoid. Under US definition 2, a parallelogram is not a type of trapezoid. Regardless of which definition you prefer, the trapezoid area formula can be used to find the area of a parallelogram.

 

See also

Isosceles trapezoid, rhombus, rectangle, square, height of a trapezoid, trapezoid rule, polygon

 


  this page updated 21-feb-16
Mathwords: Terms and Formulas from Algebra I to Calculus
written, illustrated, and webmastered by Bruce Simmons
NCTM Web Bytes December 2004 Web Bytes March 2005 Web Bytes