# What Is a Trapezoid?

## What Is a Trapezoid?

A trapezoid is a four sided shape with one pair of opposite parallel sides. ### Dictionary Definition

The Oxford English Dictionary defines a rectangle as "a quadrilateral figure having only two sides parallel."

## Parts of a Trapezoid

• The parallel sides of a trapezoid are called bases. • The other sides of a trapezoid are called legs or lateral sides. ## Properties of Trapezoids

• Only one pair of sides of a trapezoid is parallel. The other pair of sides is not parallel.

### The Perimeter of a Trapezoid

The perimeter of a trapezoid is given by the formula: In this formula, b1 and b2 are the lengths of the bases of the trapezoid and l1 and l2 are the lengths of the legs of the trapezoid.

### The Area of a Trapezoid

The area of a trapezoid is given by the formula: In this formula, b1 and b2 are the lengths of the bases of the trapezoid and h is the height of the trapezoid.

Read more about how to find the area of a trapezoid

## See Also

Finding the area of a trapezoid What is a polygon? Learn about trapezoids ( interactive widget)