Shapes – Definition with Examples

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What are Shapes?

In geometry, a shape can be defined as the form of an object or its outline, outer boundary or outer surface.

Everything we see in the world around us has a shape. We can find different basic shapes such as the two-dimensional square, rectangle, and oval or the three-dimensional rectangular prism, cylinder, and sphere in the objects we see around us. These geometric shapes appear in objects we see as credit cards, bills and coins, finger rings, photo frames, dart boards, huts, windows, magician’s wands, tall buildings, flower pots, toy trains, and balloons.

Shapes around us in the real world - SplashLearn

Different Types of Shapes

Shapes can be classified into open and closed shapes.

Types of shapes-open shapes closed shapes
In geometry, an open shape can be defined as a shape or figure whose line segments and/or curves 
do not meet. They do not start and end at the same point.
In geometry, a closed shape can be defined as an enclosed shape or figure whose line segments and/or curves are connected or meet. They start and end at the same point.

Closed geometric shapes can further be put into two broad categories, namely two-dimensional and three-dimensional shapes.

Types of shapes – 2D two-dimensional and 3D three-dimensional shape
The 2-Dimensional shape is flat.A 3-Dimensional Shape is a solid shape.
It has two dimensions, that is, length and width.It has two dimensions, that is, length, width, and depth.

Here’s a list of 2-D or two-dimensional shapes with their names and pictures:

Two-Dimensional Geometric Shapes
Two Dimensional Geometric Shapes - SplashLearn

Here’s a list of 3-D or three-dimensional shapes with their names and pictures:

Three-Dimensional Geometric Shapes
Three Dimensional Geometric Shapes - SplashLearn

The color, overall size, and orientation called the non-defining attributes of a two-dimensional or three-dimensional shape do not define or affect the shape in any way. These attributes can change without any effect on the shape. 

On the other hand, defining attributes such as the number of sides (parallel or non-parallel, straight or curved), vertices, edges, and faces of a shape, whether the shape is open or closed, and the angle measures determine the shape of a two-dimensional or three-dimensional object. Any change in these defining attributes will change the shape.

Solved Examples on Shapes

Example 1: Name the shapes.

  1. A polygon with 6 sides.
  2. Outline of a door.
  3. When you fold square corner to corner.
  4. A square and a triangle on top of it.


  1. Hexagon
  2. Rectangle or quadrilateral
  3. Triangle
  4. Pentagon

Example 2: Classify the given letters as open shape or closed shape.

C, D, L, M, O, S, U, V, Z


Open shape: C, L, M, S, U, V, Z

Closed shape: D, O

Example 3: Identify the solid shape of given objects.

  1. Globe
  2. Book
  3. Cold drink can
  4. Dice


  1. Sphere
  2. Cuboid
  3. Cylinder
  4. Cube

Example 4: Why is the crescent-shaped moon not a polygon?


Crescent shape moon is not a polygon as it has curved lines.

Practice Problems


Attend this Quiz & Test your knowledge.

1Which of these 3-dimensional shapes has no vertices?

Correct answer is: Sphere
A sphere has 0 vertices. A cone has 1 vertex. A cuboid has 8 vertices. A pyramid has more than 3 vertices.

2Which of these 2-dimensional shapes has 4 sides?

Correct answer is: Parallelogram
A triangle has 3 sides. A parallelogram has 4 sides. A pentagon has 5 sides. A hexagon has 6 sides.

3How many corners does a trapezoid have?

Correct answer is: 4
A trapezoid is a quadrilateral with 4 sides and 4 corners.

4How many edges does a cube have?

Correct answer is: 12
A cube has 6 faces, 8 vertices, and 12 edges.

Shapes – Definition with Examples


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Shapes – Definition with Examples


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Shapes – Definition with Examples

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