Difference Between Line and Line Segment (With Table)

Line vs Line Segment

The key difference between a line and a line segment lies in the fact that line has the potential to be extended in both the directions while a line segment has a fixed start and endpoint. It can also be open from the open end or both ends.

The line as no endpoints and the line segment has two or one endpoints.  A line segment is a part of the line. The line has no fixed point.

The extension of the line is shown through arrows at both ends of the line. The arrow is called a ray.

The ray (arrow) merely denotes the infiniteness of the line. A line has no endpoint and can be extended at both ends.

Contrary to the line, a line segment has two definite ends and the end cannot be extended.

Example: Line –   Shown with arrows

———-à Line

———-à OR <————

Example: Line Segment– shown with two dots



Comparison Table Between Line and Line Segment (in Tabular Form)

Parameters of ComparisonLineLine Segment
MeaningA straight infinite path without width and breadthIt is a part of a line that has a definite start and endpoint
LengthEndlessVisible endpoints
Draw on a paperDepiction of the endless line is not possibleIt can be drawn on paper.
Measurable Infinite. Not measurable on a scaleQuantified geometrically


What is a Line?

A line is an infinite, long, continuous and straight path that is denoted with arrowheads at both ends. The arrowheads at both directions explain the dimension of length.

The line doesn’t have a width and depth. A line can intersect and also be shown as parallel.

A line also will not have a curve like the circles have. Lines can pass through the center point and line plays a pivotal role in the diameter of a circle.

Lines can be used diagonal and be intersected provided both lines do have two arrows to denote continuity.

This line is found in the comprehendible geometrical principle. But if we are referring to the infinite lines that exist in the galaxy, we are talking about the infinite existential universe.

a line
Example of line

What is a Line Segment?

A line segment is a part of the line that is to be depicted. The line segment has two definite ends that are shown using points. Let’s say A and B are two points.

The shortest distance between A and B is the line segment.

A line segment is a one-dimensional figure. For example, a square is made out of 4 equal-sized line segments. Now, let us understand this with an example.

The first point is called AB and the other endpoint is called BA.

a line segment
Example of line segment

Main Differences Between Line and Line Segment


A line is a geometrical tool and the line segment is a component of that tool A line is an endless two-directional continuous path characterized by arrows.

A line segment is a section of the line with two points to demarcate an end.  Hence a line segment has a definite beginning and end.

Its also understood that a line segment is the shortest measurement between two given points put on a line.


The line doesn’t have an endpoint in a literal sense. But the line segment is definite and it begins and ends at different points too. The line segment has 2 endpoints.

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As a line is infinite, it is geometrically and scientifically not possible to find a start or endpoint.


Line length is infinite. Its length cannot be traced, measured, quantified on mathematically, geometrically and scientifically parameters.

As the line segment is has a finite line part, it can be calculated on their length, width, and breadth. There are additional links attached that will provide better clarity on the same.


It is not possible to measure something that is infinite. A line cannot be measured unless it is a line segment.  A line can be broken into two or smaller line segments.

The reason why a line cannot be measured as measurement deals with numbers in relation to an object. As the line doesn’t leave that scope, the application of a measurement is not possible to a line.

The line segment can be measured as it does have a  number, length, width to be quantified.

Draw on Paper

A line can be drawn and show on a paper but can we quantify and measure it in actuality? Can infinite be measured? A line can only be depicted on paper but not drawn.

The line just has length while the line segment has length, breadth, and width. On the other hand, a part of the line which is a line segment can be drawn on the paper


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) About Line and Line Segment

  1. Can a line segment be measured?

    A line segment is a line that has fixed starting point and fixed endpoints. It is a collection of a finite number of dots that are arranged in a straight-line pattern, just one after the other.

    Thus, as the starting point, the endpoint and the path is well defined, so we can measure a line segment.

  2. Can a line segment be extended?

    A line segment is a line that has fixed starting point and fixed endpoints. It is a collection of a finite number of dots that are arranged in a straight-line pattern, just one after the other. So, as both points are fixed, there is no movement possible.

    So, a line segment cannot be extended.

  3. What is the example of the line?

    A line is something that can be extended from both sides. It does not have a fixed or defined length.

    The best example for a line can be the scenario in which 2 persons come together in a queue and from both the ends, new persons start joining them, forming an endless queue from both the ends.

  4. Is a line a shape?

    The definition of shape is that something which has two or more points and can be joined in the form of straight lines or a curvy path.

    Thus, a line is something that can be extended from both sides. It does not have a fixed or defined length. But as it has a starting and an endpoint, it is considered to be the most basic shape.

  5. What are the properties of the lines?

    The properties of line are as follows: A line has a straight path, it has no thickens, it can extend in both the directions till infinity as the ends are not fixed.

    It is of 4 types:
    Horizontal, vertical, perpendicular and parallel line. The best example for a line is the railway track as it is infinite.

  6. What are the types of lines?

    Lines are basically of four types. They do not have a fixed starting or endpoints. They are as follows: The first type is the horizontal line.

    The second type is the vertical line. The third type is the perpendicular line. The fourth and final type of line is the parallel lines.

  7. What is the vertical line?

    A vertical line is a type of line which is parallel to the y-axis. The slope of such a line is undefined. This line goes straight up and down and has its y coordinate as zero.

    The coordinates of vertical lines are usually in the form of (x,0) as the y-coordinate is always zero.

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The theories like mathematics, geometry study the matters of line and line subjects. The shapes, sizes, positions, qualities are analyzed in these two subjects.

A line segment is needed to draw any shapes like a square triangle, rectangle, etc.

To summarize, a line is one dimensional with only an infinite length that can intersect parallel as well. A line segment is a component of a line that has length, breadth, width and two definite ends.

A line is defined by its set of different line segments that start from one end and end at another.


Word Cloud for Difference Between Line and Line Segment

The following is a collection of the most used terms in this article on Line and Line Segment. This should help in recalling related terms as used in this article at a later stage for you.

Line and Line Segment
Word Cloud for Line and Line Segment



  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Line_segment
  2. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Line_(geometry)
  3. https://www.mathsisfun.com/geometry/line.html