Area of a Shape – Definition with Examples

Area of Shapes

Geometric shapes are the figures with a set of points connected by lines resulting in a closed figure. 

For example, triangle, square, rectangle and quadrilateral are shapes with 3 and 4 points connected by lines. Shapes with bounded curves don’t have sides but have the circumference.

mirrors of different shapes with sides and curves

Mirrors of different shapes with sides and curves.


The area of a shape is the “space enclosed within the perimeter or the boundary” of the given shape. We calculate the area for different shapes using math formulas.

In the following pictures, the shaded region denotes the area for the respective shapes.

area for the respective shapes.

 Name & Shape Properties Area
circleCircle The length between the center “o” to the point on the circumference is the radius “r” A = πr2 π = 3.14 (constant)
triangleTriangle One angle is the right angle A = 12 × Base × Height
squareSquareAll sides are equalEach angle is 90 degree  A = Length of Side2
rhombusRhombusAll sides are equalOpposite sides are parallelOpposite angles are equal A = p × q
rectangleRectangleOpposite sides are equal and parallelEach angle is 90 degree  A = Length × Breadth
parallelogramParallelogramOpposite sides are equal and parallelOpposite angles are equal A = Base × Height 

The “textured” region represents the area of the shape

Unit of Measurement

The unit of measurement for the area is always the square of the unit in which lengths are given. The resultant unit is the product of the units of the given lengths.

Let’s take an example, the area of a square with side length 8 cm is:

Area = (Length of side)2

Area = 8 cm × 8 cm

Area = 64 cm2

unit of measurement


The application field of area formula is in architecture, land surveying, and map designing. The rescaled version of the area for a given place is useful in designing knowledge tools such as globes and geophysical maps. The area calculation for a two-dimensional shape is the first step to interpret the volume of a three-dimensional object such as cone, cylinder, ball, and cube.

Fun Facts
1. The Babylonian clay tablets with scribes were used to study math and interpret the concept of area using formula during 1800-1600 BCE.
2. Egyptians built great pyramids using the area based properties and ratio between the surface area of sides and base area for a perfectly balanced structure

Related Math Vocabulary

Practice Problems

Area of Shape

Attend this Quiz & Test your knowledge.

1What is the area of a parallelogram with a base of 4 cm and a height 3 cm more than its base?

12 square cm
14 square cm
24 square cm
28 square cm
Correct answer is: 28 square cm
The height of the parallelogram = base + 3 cm,
i.e., 4 cm + 3 cm or 7 cm.
So, the area of the parallelogram = base ✕ height = 7 cm ✕ 4 cm or 28 square cm.

2What is the area of a rectangle with a width of 5 units and a length double its width?

25 square units
30 square units
50 square units
100 square units
Correct answer is: 50 square units
The length of the rectangle = 2 ✕ width,
i.e., 2 ✕ 5 units or 10 units.
So, Area of the rectangle = length ✕ width = 10 units ✕ 5 units or 50 square units.

3What is the area of a shape made by joining three squares of side 3 cm?

6 square cm
9 square cm
18 square cm
27 square cm
Correct answer is: 27 square cm
The area of a square is side ✕ side,
i.e., 3 cm ✕ 3 cm or 9 square cm.
So, the area of 3 such squares will be 3 ✕ 9 square cm or 27 square cm.

4What is the formula for the area of a circle with radius r?

𝜋 ✕ r
2 ✕ 𝜋 ✕ r
𝜋 ✕ r ✕ r
2 ✕ 𝜋 ✕ r ✕ r
Correct answer is: 𝜋 ✕ r ✕ r
The area of a circle is 𝜋 ✕ radius ✕ radius.

Frequently Asked Questions

To find the area of an irregular shape, divide the shape into unit squares. Count the number of squares that cover the shape completely. If the shape does not occupy complete unit squares, estimate the number of unit squares that will fill it.

The area of any shape is the space occupied by it on a plane surface. Therefore, area is a two-dimensional quantity as well.

Area of a parallelogram = Base × Height

The space inside the boundary of a two-dimensional shape is known as area, whereas the space occupied by a 3-dimensional object is its volume.