Oval Shape – Definition, Properties, Examples, FAQs

What Is an Oval Shape in Math?

An oval shape is a closed shape. It is a completely curved geometric figure. Thus, it has no straight lines or vertices. It looks like a stretched-out, elongated, or a squashed circle. The shape is very similar to the shape of an ellipse. However, they are not the same.

Ovals are not precisely defined geometrical figures with strict mathematical properties. The term “oval” is a broad and informal term used to describe any elongated closed curve that is not circular but resembles a squashed circle.

Oval shape

The word “oval” is originated from the Latin word “ovum,” which means “an egg.’’ If you draw an outline of an egg, it will be oval in shape. 

Comparing an oval shape with the outline of an egg

The oval shape is not particularly defined in geometry. We however use it to express the shape of egg-like objects.

Oval Shape: Definition

An oval shape is a closed and curved two-dimensional geometric figure with no straight lines or vertices and only one flat face.

Properties of an Oval Shape

  • It has no edges.
  • It has no vertices.
  • It is a 2D curved geometrical figure.
  • It has only one flat face.
  • It is a simple curve. It means that it does not overlap or self-intersect.
  • It is convex. It means its surface is curved or rounded outward.
  • In some oval shapes, a line of symmetry is present.

Construction of an Oval Shape

As mentioned earlier, if we trace an egg on a piece of paper, we will get an oval shape. Let’s learn some other interesting ways to draw this curved shape. 

The construction of an oval shape can be done in many ways. The first can be to simply draw it using a rubber band. Alternatively, we can construct it using a ruler and a compass.

Construction of an Oval Shape Using a Rubber Band (Bold)

To make an oval shape using a rubber band, follow the given steps:

Step 1: Take a rubber band, a pencil, and two nails.

Step 2: Fix the nails away from each other. The distance should be such that once the rubber bank is fixed on them, it makes a straight line. In other words, there should be some tension once we stretch the rubber band.

Step 3: Place the pencil inside the rubberband and draw an oval shape by stretching it while the nails keep the band in position.

Drawing an oval shape using a rubber band

Construction of an Oval Shape Using a Compass

To construct an oval using a compass, follow the steps given below:

Step 1: Construct two circles of the same radius that touch each other at one point. Let the centers be Q and S.

Step 2: Draw a straight line joining the center of both circles.

Step 3: Set the compass distance equal to the diameter. Keep the compass on Q and make arcs above and below. Repeat the same by keeping the compass at S. 

Let the arcs intersect at points A and B. 

Step 4: Set the compass distance equal to PS. With this distance and by keeping the needle at A, draw the lower half of the oval. Draw the upper half of the oval by keeping the compass at B.

Construction of an oval

Construction of an Oval Shape Using Plus (+) Sign, Rectangle, or Circle

Simply draw a plus sign (+), but draw the vertical line a bit longer. Now you can draw a curved shape that touches the endpoints of the two lines of the sign. Similarly, you can draw an oval using a rectangle or a circle.

Construction of an oval shape examples

Oval Shape Around Us

Look around! Can you identify some oval shape objects? Take a look at a few examples of an oval shape.

Real-life examples of an oval shape

Oval vs. Circle

A circle is a 2D closed shape, such that all points on its boundary are equidistant from the center. Thus, the circle is a symmetric shape. An oval, on the other hand, is also a closed curve that has a stretched or elongated circular form. Unlike a circle, an oval shape lacks a constant distance from the center point to the boundary.

Oval vs. circle

Facts about the Oval Shape

  • An oval is a closed curve resembling a squashed circle.
  • Ovals usually possess an axis of symmetry, dividing them into mirror-image halves, but not all ovals have this property. Some ovals exhibit a line of symmetry, while others may have irregular or asymmetric outlines.
  • The three-dimensional version of an oval is called an ovoid.


In this article, we explored the fascinating world of oval shapes, encompassing their unique characteristics and versatile appearances. Ovals are not precisely defined geometrical figures. To enhance our understanding, let’s solve examples and attempt MCQs for better comprehension.

Solved Examples on Oval Shape

  1. Identify the shape of the given object.
Doormat in oval shape


The doormat has an oval shape.

Identifying the oval shape

2. Match the properties of the oval shape.

  1. Number of edges a. 2
  2. Number of faces b. 0
  3. Dimension c. 1


A. Number of edges b. 0

B. Number of faces c. 1

C. Dimension a. 2

3. What makes an oval different from a square?

Solution: A square is a shape that is made up of 4 straight lines and 4 vertices while an oval is a shape that has no straight lines or any vertices.

Practice Problems on Oval Shape

Oval Shape

Attend this quiz & Test your knowledge.


How many sides does an oval shape have?

Correct answer is: 0
An oval does not have any edges or sides.

How many faces does an oval have?

Correct answer is: 1
An oval has only one flat face.

Oval shape can be compared to the shape of a/an ____.

squashed circle
All of the above
Correct answer is: All of the above
An avocado, an elongated circle, or an egg have an oval shape.

Frequently Asked Questions about the Oval Shape

A circle is a symmetric shape that is formed by a set of points, which are at a fixed distance from the center. An oval looks like an outline of an egg or a squashed circle. Ovals can vary in proportions, with some being more elongated than others. However, all circles are similar.

A 3D version of an oval is called an ovoid.

Every ellipse is an oval but not every oval is an ellipse. The ellipse has a balanced and uniform look. Ovals do not have foci defined, whereas ellipses have two focal points, which are important in defining the shape. An ellipse is a well-defined geometric figure.

Oval vs. ellipse

The term “round” is used to describe circular objects. However, it is not a strict word since people commonly and loosely refer to oval shapes as round shapes. 

Every ellipse is an oval. However, not every oval is an ellipse. We can draw many types of oval shapes since its perimeter doesn’t have to be of fixed size.

Types of oval shapes