Rectangle vs Trapezoid: Difference and Comparison

A quadrilateral is a two-dimension structure having four sides. Thus, a rectangle and a trapezoid are also quadrilaterals with prominent differences. 

 One may get confused between the two terms, and questions like these may arise: What are the differences between their structures? Are both of them parallelograms?

Key Takeaways

  1. Rectangles have four right angles and opposite sides of equal length, while trapezoids have only one pair of parallel sides.
  2. Rectangles have two pairs of equal opposite sides, while trapezoids do not.
  3. Rectangles have congruent diagonals, while trapezoids do not unless they are isosceles.

Rectangle vs Trapezoid

A rectangle is a four-sided polygon with four right angles and opposite sides that are parallel and congruent. Its diagonals are equal in length and bisect each other at right angles. A trapezoid is a four-sided polygon with only one pair of parallel sides. The other two sides are not parallel and may be of different lengths. A trapezoid has two angles that are acute and two obtuse angles.

Rectangle vs Trapezoid

A rectangle is a quadrilateral with four right angles. The word rectangle is derived from the Latin ‘rectangulus’, which can be split into ‘rectus’, meaning right and ‘angulus’, meaning angle.

On the other hand, a trapezoid is a quadrilateral with a pair of parallel sides. The word trapezoid is derived from the Greek word ‘trapézion’, meaning a small table.

Comparison Table

Parameters of Comparison RectangleTrapezoid
DefinitionA rectangle is a four-sided parallelogram with four right angles and two pairs of parallel and equal opposite sides.A trapezoid is a quadrilateral with parallel sides and intersecting diagonals.
Derivation of the wordThe word ‘rectangle’ is derived from the Latin ‘rectangulus’, which can be split into ‘rectus’, meaning right and ‘angulus’, meaning angle.The word ‘trapezoid’ is derived from the Greek word ‘trapézion’, meaning a small table.
ParallelogramA rectangle is a parallelogram since it has two pairs of parallel sides.A trapezoid is not a parallelogram.
Opposite sidesThe opposite sides of a rectangle are both parallel and equal in length.A pair of opposite sides of a trapezoid are parallel.
Diagonals Diagonals in a rectangle tend to be equal and bisect each other.Diagonals in a trapezoid need not be equal, but they intersect each other.
Parallel sidesThere are two parallel opposite sides in a rectangle.There is only a pair of opposite parallel sides in a trapezoid.
90° anglesThere are four 90° angles in a rectangle.There may or may not be 90° angles in a trapezoid.

What is Rectangle?

A rectangle is a quadrilateral, i.e. a four-sided figure with two parallel and equal opposite sides. It contains four 90° angles. The word ‘rectangle’ is derived from the Latin ‘rectangulus’, which can be split into ‘rectus’, meaning right and ‘angulus’, meaning angle.

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The sum of any two adjacent angles in a rectangle equals 180°, and the sum of all the angles in a rectangle equals 360°.

A square can be considered a particular type of rectangle with equal sides. A rectangle is also a parallelogram since it has two parallel sides. 

Rectangle

What is Trapezoid?

A trapezoid is a quadrilateral having a pair of parallel opposite sides. Sometimes a trapezoid is strictly a quadrilateral having only a couple of parallel opposite sides.

The word ‘trapezoid’ is derived from the Greek word ‘trapézion’, meaning a small table. The diagonals in a trapezoid need not be equal.

A trapezoid is also called a trapezium many times. The sum of all the angles of a trapezoid also comes out to be 360°. A trapezoid may or may not have right angles in it.

Trapezoid

Main Differences Between Rectangle and Trapezoid

  1. A rectangle is a quadrilateral with four right angles, two equal opposite sides and two parallel opposite sides. In contrast, a trapezoid is a quadrilateral with just a pair of parallel opposite sides.
  2. The diagonals of a rectangle are equal and bisect each other, while the diagonals of a trapezoid aren’t equal and intersect.
Difference Between Rectangle and Trapezoid
References
  1. https://pubs.nctm.org/downloadpdf/journals/mt/107/7/article-p508.pdf
  2. https://www.jstor.org/stable/30024211

Last Updated : 11 June, 2023

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23 thoughts on “Rectangle vs Trapezoid: Difference and Comparison”

  1. The apt comparison between rectangles and trapezoids, coupled with historical references, makes this article a commendable scholarly contribution.

    Reply
  2. The article provides a comprehensive comparison between rectangles and trapezoids, and offers a deep insight into the geometry of these shapes.

    Reply
    • True, this article brings to light the nuances in shape properties, aiding in better comprehension of geometric concepts.

      Reply
  3. This article helps to understand the distinctions between rectangles and trapezoids and the characteristics unique to each shape.

    Reply
  4. The comparison table is very helpful in illustrating the key differences between rectangles and trapezoids in a clear and concise manner.

    Reply
  5. An informative, thought-provoking piece that meticulously dissects and defines the elements of rectangles and trapezoids, offering enriching knowledge in geometry.

    Reply
    • The academically rigorous approach evident in this article makes it a valuable addition to the discourse on geometric principles.

      Reply
  6. This article elucidates the intricacies of the two geometric figures and contributes to expanding the realm of knowledge in geometry.

    Reply
  7. The article presents an informative analysis of the crucial differences between the rectangle and trapezoid, allowing for a deeper understanding of geometry.

    Reply
  8. An intellectually stimulating article that deepens our understanding of geometric shapes, providing a wealth of knowledge on the subject.

    Reply
  9. This scholarly exposition provides a thorough analysis of the unique attributes of rectangles and trapezoids, intensifying our understanding of these geometrical shapes.

    Reply
    • Agreed; the meticulous detail and historical context ensure this article’s significance in academic pursuits.

      Reply

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