What Are Degrees?

What Are Degrees?

Degrees are a unit of measurement of an angle.

There are 360 degrees in a full rotation.

Dictionary Definition

The Oxford English Dictionary defines a degree as "a unit of measurement of angles or circular arcs, being an angle equal to the 90th part of a right angle, or an arc equal to the 360th part of the circumference of a circle (which subtends this angle at the centre)."

A Real Example of Degrees

An angle measured in degrees is written as number followed by the degree symbol °:

90 degrees

This is 90° (said as "90 degrees").

360 Degrees in a Circle

There are 360 degrees in a full rotation (a circle).

One degree is 1360th of a circle.

a degree is 1 360th of a turn

How to Measure an Angle in Degrees

The number of degrees in an angle can be measured directly using a protractor:

measure a degree with a protractor

Alternatively, geometry and trigonometry can be used to find angles.

See Also

What is an angle? What is trigonometry?