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What Are the Names of Different Math Shapes?

Shakuntala Devi once said 'Without mathematics, there’s nothing you can do. Everything around you is mathematics. Everything around you is numbers.'

And when it comes to mathematics, understanding mathematical shape names is crucial. 

By knowing shape names, like squares, circles, triangles, and more, we can communicate clearly about objects and their properties. Shapes help us describe and analyze patterns, structures, and more. They are used in various fields, from geometry to architecture, engineering, and art. 

In this article, we bring you different math shapes name. This is an easy-to-understand guide that's suitable for all.

Basic Shapes and Their Names

Let’s first understand the names and characteristics of basic math shapes name. So, below take a look at different types of shapes in maths with names.


A circle is a perfectly round shape. The name 'circle' comes from the Latin word 'circulus,' which means 'small ring.' A circle has no corners or edges. Its defining characteristic is that every point on its boundary is equidistant from its center. This makes it ideal for things like wheels and plates. This is one of the prominent name shapes in maths.


A square is a four-sided shape with all sides equal in length and all angles equal to 90 degrees.

The name 'square' comes from the Latin word 'quadra,' which means a tool for measuring right angles. Each corner of a square forms a right angle, and all sides are the same length. Examples of squares include tiles. 


A triangle is a three-sided polygon. We get the name 'triangle' from the Latin words 'tri,' which means 'three,' and 'angulus,' which means 'angle.' 

Triangles have three straight sides and three angles. The sum of the angles in a triangle is always 180 degrees. 


A rectangle is a four-sided shape with opposite sides parallel and equal in length, and all angles equal to 90 degrees.

The name 'rectangle' is derived from the Latin word 'rectangulus,' meaning 'right-angled.' Like squares, rectangles have four right angles, but their sides may have different lengths. They are commonly used in architecture, art, and everyday objects like doors and windows.


An oval is a rounded shape resembling an elongated circle. The name 'oval' comes from the Latin word 'ovum,' meaning 'egg.' Ovals have a similar curvature to circles but are elongated in one direction. Unlike circles, ovals don't have equal distances from their center to their boundary at all points. 


A pentagon is a five-sided polygon. We get the name 'pentagon' from the Greek words 'pente,' meaning 'five,' and 'gonia,' meaning 'angle.' Pentagons have five straight sides and five angles. The sum of the interior angles of a pentagon is always 540 degrees. 


A hexagon is a six-sided polygon and the name comes from 'hexagon,' a Greek word 'hex,' which means 'six,' and 'gonia,' which means 'angle.' Hexagons have six straight sides and six angles. The sum of the interior angles of a hexagon is always 720 degrees. 

If you are asked to name the shapes in maths, these are what you must remember.

Intermediate Shapes: Polygons

Polygons are flat shapes with straight sides. They always fit together without any gaps. Each polygon has its unique feature. These features are based on the number of its sides. Let's understand polygon name shapes in maths.


It's the simplest polygon we have. As aforementioned, it comes with three sides. Triangles can be big or small, but they always have three straight lines closing together.


The next polygon on the list that has four sides is known as a quadrilateral. Squares and rectangles are examples of quadrilaterals. 


With five sides, the Pentagon is named after its five straight edges. 


Let's further proceed in our quest to know name shapes in maths. Here we have a hexagon. It has six sides and is a popular shape. Example: Snowflaxes


A heptagon is a polygon that has seven sides. It's not as common as triangles or squares, but it's still important in geometry.


With eight sides, the next polygon is an octagon.

Each polygon has different characteristics, like the number of angles they have and their total interior angles. The name polygon comes from two Greek words. One is 'poly,' which means 'many,' and the other is 'gonia,' which means 'angle.' 

Advanced Shapes: Geometric Figures

Below, we talk about the complex shapes in maths with name. Take a look!


A prism is a three-dimensional shape with two identical polygonal bases, which are connected by rectangular or parallelogram-shaped sides. It looks like a solid object with flat sides and parallel ends.

Prisms have three main parts, which include bases, lateral faces, and edges. The bases are identical polygons, and the lateral faces are rectangles connecting the corresponding sides of the bases. The number of lateral faces depends on the number of sides of the base polygon.


A pyramid is a three-dimensional shape with a polygonal base and triangular sides that meet at a common point. This common point is known as the apex or vertex. It looks like a pointy structure with a flat base.

Pyramids have a base that is a polygon and triangular sides that meet at the apex. The number of sides of the base polygon determines the type of pyramid. For example, triangular pyramids and square pyramids. The height of a pyramid is the perpendicular distance from the base to the apex.


A cylinder is a three-dimensional shape with two circular bases, which are connected by a curved surface. For example, a tube is a great example. 

Cylinders have two parallel and congruent circular bases. The distance between the bases is the height of the cylinder. The curved surface of a cylinder is called the lateral surface. The volume of a cylinder is calculated by multiplying the area of the base by the height.


A cone is a three-dimensional shape with a circular base and a curved surface that gradually reduces to a point called the apex or vertex. An ice cream cone is the best example.

Cones have a circular base and a curved surface that extends from the base to the apex. The height of the cone is the perpendicular distance from the base to the apex.


A sphere is a three-dimensional shape that is perfectly round, like a ball or a globe.

Spheres have all points on their surface equidistant from the center. The radius is the distance from the center to any point on the surface. The diameter is twice the radius. Also, spheres have no edges or vertices.

Challenges and Common Mistakes in Naming Shapes

Some of the common misconceptions and errors when it comes to shapes in maths with names are given below.

Sometimes, you may miscount the sides of shapes. Now, maths is a subject that requires accuracy. Hence, it leads to incorrect identifications. For example, mistaking a pentagon (5 sides) for a hexagon (6 sides).

Also, when it comes to shapes like rectangles and squares, if you don't maintain a sense of accuracy, it can be confused due to their similarities. People may wrongly identify a square as a rectangle or vice versa. 

Even some shapes have unique characteristics that differentiate them from others. If you ignore these features, it can lead to misnaming, such as mistaking a triangle for a quadrilateral. So, here are a few things you can do to overcome them:

  • Take your time to count the sides and angles of a shape accurately

  • Always make sure that you have identified all the defining features before naming it

  • If you are unsure about a shape, compare it with known examples

  • Look for similarities and differences to help you make a more accurate identification

  • Use visual aids, like diagrams or models, to gain a clearer understanding of shapes

  • Make it a practice to visualize and compare different shapes for better recognition

  • Study the unique characteristics of each shape, such as the number of sides, angles, and symmetry properties


Mathematical shape names may seem complicated. However, with a clear understanding, getting a hold of them becomes easy. By knowing shapes like circles, squares, and triangles, we can also describe objects accurately and examine patterns better. 

Remember, shapes are not just abstract concepts. We can see them everywhere around us. So, further exploration and learning about shapes opens doors to creativity and discovery. 

It can be in any field, such as art, architecture, or engineering, shapes are a necessity for innovation. If you are a math student, it becomes essential to keep exploring different shapes, their properties, and how they interact with each other. When you see beauty in shapes, it becomes effortless for you to grasp them.


  1. What are the basic shapes and their names in mathematics?

In mathematics, we have some basic shapes with special names. They are circles, squares, triangles, rectangles, ovals, etc. Each shape comes with its own characteristics and features. Therefore, to understand the shapes more, knowing the features becomes essential.

  1. How are polygons classified and named based on their sides and angles?

Polygons are classified and named based on the number of sides they have and the measures of their angles. For example, a triangle has three sides, while a quadrilateral has four sides. The names of polygons are usually based on the number of sides they possess. For instance, a polygon with five sides is called a pentagon, and one with six sides is called a hexagon.

  1. Can you explain the naming conventions for more complex geometric figures?

Complex geometric figures are generally named based on their defining features. For example, prisms are named according to the shape of their base, such as triangular prism or rectangular prism. Similarly, pyramids are named after the shape of their base and the number of sides, like triangular pyramids or square pyramids. These naming conventions help us describe the shape and structure of these geometric figures correctly.

  1. What are some common mistakes people make when identifying and naming shapes?

One of the mistakes people make is they overlook the sides. That said, you can take a look at the above article for detailed information.

  1. Are there any resources or tools available to help with learning mathematical shape names effectively?

Today, we live in a tech-savvy era. Therefore, it becomes easy to find apps and various other online resources that can help you out. That said, students can always speak with their teachers if they have any confusion.

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