A **shape** or **figure** is the form of an object or its external boundary, outline, or external surface, as opposed to other properties such as color, texture, or material type. A **plane shape**, **two-dimensional shape**, or **2D shape** (**plane figure**, **two-dimensional figure**, or **2D figure**) is constrained to lie on a plane, in contrast to * solid figure *s.

Some simple shapes can be put into broad categories. For instance, polygons are classified according to their number of edges as triangles, quadrilaterals, pentagons, etc. Each of these is divided into smaller categories; triangles can be equilateral, isosceles, obtuse, acute, scalene, etc. while quadrilaterals can be rectangles, rhombi, trapezoids, squares, etc.

Other common shapes are points, lines, planes, and conic sections such as ellipses, circles, and parabolas.

Among the most common 3-dimensional shapes are polyhedra, which are shapes with flat faces; ellipsoids, which are egg-shaped or sphere-shaped objects; cylinders; and cones.

If an object falls into one of these categories exactly or even approximately, we can use it to describe the shape of the object. Thus, we say that the shape of a manhole cover is a disk, because it is approximately the same geometric object as an actual geometric disk.

A **geometric shape** is the geometric information which remains when location, scale, orientation and reflection are removed from the description of a geometric object.^{ [1] } That is, the result of moving a shape around, enlarging it, rotating it, or reflecting it in a mirror is the same shape as the original, and not a distinct shape.

Many two-dimensional geometric shapes can be defined by a set of points or vertices and lines connecting the points in a closed chain, as well as the resulting interior points. Such shapes are called polygons and include triangles, squares, and pentagons. Other shapes may be bounded by curves such as the circle or the ellipse.

Many three-dimensional geometric shapes can be defined by a set of vertices, lines connecting the vertices, and two-dimensional faces enclosed by those lines, as well as the resulting interior points. Such shapes are called polyhedrons and include cubes as well as pyramids such as tetrahedrons. Other three-dimensional shapes may be bounded by curved surfaces, such as the ellipsoid and the sphere.

A shape is said to be convex if all of the points on a line segment between any two of its points are also part of the shape.

There are several ways to compare the shapes of two objects:

- Congruence: Two objects are
**congruent**if one can be transformed into the other by a sequence of rotations, translations, and/or reflections. - Similarity: Two objects are
**similar**if one can be transformed into the other by a uniform scaling, together with a sequence of rotations, translations, and/or reflections. - Isotopy: Two objects are
**isotopic**if one can be transformed into the other by a sequence of deformations that do not tear the object or put holes in it.

Sometimes, two similar or congruent objects may be regarded as having a different shape if a reflection is required to transform one into the other. For instance, the letters "**b**" and "**d**" are a reflection of each other, and hence they are congruent and similar, but in some contexts they are not regarded as having the same shape. Sometimes, only the outline or external boundary of the object is considered to determine its shape. For instance, a hollow sphere may be considered to have the same shape as a solid sphere. Procrustes analysis is used in many sciences to determine whether or not two objects have the same shape, or to measure the difference between two shapes. In advanced mathematics, quasi-isometry can be used as a criterion to state that two shapes are approximately the same.

Simple shapes can often be classified into basic geometric objects such as a point, a line, a curve, a plane, a plane figure (e.g. square or circle), or a solid figure (e.g. cube or sphere). However, most shapes occurring in the physical world are complex. Some, such as plant structures and coastlines, may be so complicated as to defy traditional mathematical description – in which case they may be analyzed by differential geometry, or as fractals.

In geometry, two subsets of a Euclidean space have the same shape if one can be transformed to the other by a combination of translations, rotations (together also called rigid transformations), and uniform scalings. In other words, the *shape* of a set of points is all the geometrical information that is invariant to translations, rotations, and size changes. Having the same shape is an equivalence relation, and accordingly a precise mathematical definition of the notion of shape can be given as being an equivalence class of subsets of a Euclidean space having the same shape.

Mathematician and statistician David George Kendall writes:^{ [2] }

In this paper ‘shape’ is used in the vulgar sense, and means what one would normally expect it to mean. [...] We here define ‘shape’ informally as ‘all the geometrical information that remains when location, scale

^{ [3] }and rotational effects are filtered out from an object.’

Shapes of physical objects are equal if the subsets of space these objects occupy satisfy the definition above. In particular, the shape does not depend on the size and placement in space of the object. For instance, a "**d**" and a "**p**" have the same shape, as they can be perfectly superimposed if the "**d**" is translated to the right by a given distance, rotated upside down and magnified by a given factor (see Procrustes superimposition for details). However, a mirror image could be called a different shape. For instance, a "**b**" and a "**p**" have a different shape, at least when they are constrained to move within a two-dimensional space like the page on which they are written. Even though they have the same size, there's no way to perfectly superimpose them by translating and rotating them along the page. Similarly, within a three-dimensional space, a right hand and a left hand have a different shape, even if they are the mirror images of each other. Shapes may change if the object is scaled non-uniformly. For example, a sphere becomes an ellipsoid when scaled differently in the vertical and horizontal directions. In other words, preserving axes of symmetry (if they exist) is important for preserving shapes. Also, shape is determined by only the outer boundary of an object.

Objects that can be transformed into each other by rigid transformations and mirroring (but not scaling) are congruent. An object is therefore congruent to its mirror image (even if it is not symmetric), but not to a scaled version. Two congruent objects always have either the same shape or mirror image shapes, and have the same size.

Objects that have the same shape or mirror image shapes are called geometrically similar, whether or not they have the same size. Thus, objects that can be transformed into each other by rigid transformations, mirroring, and uniform scaling are similar. Similarity is preserved when one of the objects is uniformly scaled, while congruence is not. Thus, congruent objects are always geometrically similar, but similar objects may not be congruent, as they may have different size.

A more flexible definition of shape takes into consideration the fact that realistic shapes are often deformable, e.g. a person in different postures, a tree bending in the wind or a hand with different finger positions.

One way of modeling non-rigid movements is by homeomorphisms. Roughly speaking, a homeomorphism is a continuous stretching and bending of an object into a new shape. Thus, a square and a circle are homeomorphic to each other, but a sphere and a donut are not. An often-repeated mathematical joke is that topologists cannot tell their coffee cup from their donut,^{ [4] } since a sufficiently pliable donut could be reshaped to the form of a coffee cup by creating a dimple and progressively enlarging it, while preserving the donut hole in a cup's handle.

A described shape has external lines that you can see and make up the shape. If you were putting you coordinates on and coordinate graph you could draw lines to show where you can see a shape, however not every time you put coordinates in a graph as such you can make a shape. This shape has a outline and boundary so you can see it and is not just regular dots on a regular paper.

The above-mentioned mathematical definitions of rigid and non-rigid shape have arisen in the field of statistical shape analysis. In particular, Procrustes analysis is a technique used for comparing shapes of similar objects (e.g. bones of different animals), or measuring the deformation of a deformable object. Other methods are designed to work with non-rigid (bendable) objects, e.g. for posture independent shape retrieval (see for example Spectral shape analysis).

All similar triangles have the same shape. These shapes can be classified using complex numbers *u, v, w* for the vertices, in a method advanced by J.A. Lester^{ [5] } and Rafael Artzy. For example, an equilateral triangle can be expressed by the complex numbers 0, 1, (1 + i √3)/2 representing its vertices. Lester and Artzy call the ratio

the **shape** of triangle (*u, v, w*). Then the shape of the equilateral triangle is

- (0–(1+ √3)/2)/(0–1) = ( 1 + i √3)/2 = cos(60°) + i sin(60°) = exp( i π/3).

For any affine transformation of the complex plane, a triangle is transformed but does not change its shape. Hence shape is an invariant of affine geometry. The shape *p* = S(*u,v,w*) depends on the order of the arguments of function S, but permutations lead to related values. For instance,

- Also

Combining these permutations gives Furthermore,

- These relations are "conversion rules" for shape of a triangle.

The shape of a quadrilateral is associated with two complex numbers *p,q*. If the quadrilateral has vertices *u,v,w,x*, then *p* = S(*u,v,w*) and *q* = S(*v,w,x*). Artzy proves these propositions about quadrilateral shapes:

- If then the quadrilateral is a parallelogram.
- If a parallelogram has | arg
*p*| = | arg*q*|, then it is a rhombus. - When
*p*= 1 + i and*q*= (1 + i)/2, then the quadrilateral is square. - If and sgn
*r*= sgn(Im*p*), then the quadrilateral is a trapezoid.

A polygon has a shape defined by *n* – 2 complex numbers The polygon bounds a convex set when all these shape components have imaginary components of the same sign.^{ [6] }

Psychologists have theorized that humans mentally break down images into simple geometric shapes called geons.^{ [7] } Examples of geons include cones and spheres. A wide range of other shape representations have also been investigated.^{ [8] } Shape features seem to boil down to three basic dimensions: *segmentability*, *compactness* and *spikiness*.^{ [9] }

There is also clear evidence that shapes guide human attention.^{ [10] }^{ [11] }

**Area** is the quantity that expresses the extent of a two-dimensional region, shape, or planar lamina, in the plane. Surface area is its analog on the two-dimensional surface of a three-dimensional object. Area can be understood as the amount of material with a given thickness that would be necessary to fashion a model of the shape, or the amount of paint necessary to cover the surface with a single coat. It is the two-dimensional analog of the length of a curve or the volume of a solid.

A (symmetric) *n*-gonal **bipyramid** or **dipyramid** is a polyhedron formed by joining an *n*-gonal pyramid and its mirror image base-to-base. An *n*-gonal bipyramid has 2*n* triangle faces, 3*n* edges, and 2 + *n* vertices.

In geometry, any polyhedron is associated with a second **dual** figure, where the vertices of one correspond to the faces of the other, and the edges between pairs of vertices of one correspond to the edges between pairs of faces of the other. Such dual figures remain combinatorial or abstract polyhedra, but not all are also geometric polyhedra. Starting with any given polyhedron, the dual of its dual is the original polyhedron.

In geometry, an **octahedron** is a polyhedron with eight faces, twelve edges, and six vertices. The term is most commonly used to refer to the **regular** octahedron, a Platonic solid composed of eight equilateral triangles, four of which meet at each vertex.

In geometry, a **tetrahedron**, also known as a **triangular pyramid**, is a polyhedron composed of four triangular faces, six straight edges, and four vertex corners. The tetrahedron is the simplest of all the ordinary convex polyhedra and the only one that has fewer than 5 faces.

A **triangle** is a polygon with three edges and three vertices. It is one of the basic shapes in geometry. A triangle with vertices *A*, *B*, and *C* is denoted .

In geometry, two figures or objects are **congruent** if they have the same shape and size, or if one has the same shape and size as the mirror image of the other.

In Euclidean geometry, two objects are **similar** if they have the same shape, or one has the same shape as the mirror image of the other. More precisely, one can be obtained from the other by uniformly scaling, possibly with additional translation, rotation and reflection. This means that either object can be rescaled, repositioned, and reflected, so as to coincide precisely with the other object. If two objects are similar, each is congruent to the result of a particular uniform scaling of the other.

In Euclidean plane geometry, a **rectangle** is a quadrilateral with four right angles. It can also be defined as: an equiangular quadrilateral, since equiangular means that all of its angles are equal ; or a parallelogram containing a right angle. A rectangle with four sides of equal length is a square. The term **oblong** is occasionally used to refer to a non-square rectangle. A rectangle with vertices *ABCD* would be denoted as *ABCD*.

In elementary geometry, **perpendicular** is the adjectival form of **perpendicularity**, which is the relationship between two lines that meet at a right angle. The characteristic extends to other related geometric objects.

In Euclidean geometry, a **kite ** is a quadrilateral whose four sides can be grouped into two pairs of equal-length sides that are adjacent to each other. In contrast, a parallelogram also has two pairs of equal-length sides, but they are opposite to each other instead of being adjacent. Kite quadrilaterals are named for the wind-blown, flying kites, which often have this shape and which are in turn named for a bird. Kites are also known as **deltoids**, but the word "deltoid" may also refer to a deltoid curve, an unrelated geometric object.

In Euclidean geometry, a **parallelogram** is a simple (non-self-intersecting) quadrilateral with two pairs of parallel sides. The opposite or facing sides of a parallelogram are of equal length and the opposite angles of a parallelogram are of equal measure. The congruence of opposite sides and opposite angles is a direct consequence of the Euclidean parallel postulate and neither condition can be proven without appealing to the Euclidean parallel postulate or one of its equivalent formulations.

In mathematics and physics, the **centroid** or **geometric center** of a plane figure is the arithmetic mean position of all the points in the figure. Informally, it is the point at which a cutout of the shape could be perfectly balanced on the tip of a pin. The same definition extends to any object in *n*-dimensional space.

In mathematics, an **invariant** is a property of a mathematical object which remains unchanged after operations or transformations of a certain type are applied to the objects. The particular class of objects and type of transformations are usually indicated by the context in which the term is used. For example, the area of a triangle is an invariant with respect to isometries of the Euclidean plane. The phrases "invariant under" and "invariant to" a transformation are both used. More generally, an invariant with respect to an equivalence relation is a property that is constant on each equivalence class.

In mathematics, an **abstract polytope** is an algebraic partially ordered set or poset which captures the combinatorial properties of a traditional polytope without specifying purely geometric properties such as angles or edge lengths. A polytope is a generalisation of polygons and polyhedra into any number of dimensions.

**Elementary mathematics** consists of mathematics topics frequently taught at the primary or secondary school levels.

In geometry, a **Coxeter–Dynkin diagram** is a graph with numerically labeled edges representing the spatial relations between a collection of mirrors. It describes a kaleidoscopic construction: each graph "node" represents a mirror and the label attached to a branch encodes the dihedral angle order between two mirrors, that is, the amount by which the angle between the reflective planes can be multiplied by to get 180 degrees. An unlabeled branch implicitly represents order-3.

In geometry, a **disphenoid** is a tetrahedron whose four faces are congruent acute-angled triangles. It can also be described as a tetrahedron in which every two edges that are opposite each other have equal lengths. Other names for the same shape are **sphenoid**, **bisphenoid**, **isosceles tetrahedron**, **equifacial tetrahedron**, **almost regular tetrahedron**, and **tetramonohedron**.

In geometry, an object has **symmetry** if there is an operation or transformation that maps the figure/object onto itself. Thus, a symmetry can be thought of as an immunity to change. For instance, a circle rotated about its center will have the same shape and size as the original circle, as all points before and after the transform would be indistinguishable. A circle is thus said to be *symmetric under rotation* or to have *rotational symmetry*. If the isometry is the reflection of a plane figure about a line, then the figure is said to have reflectional symmetry or line symmetry; it is also possible for a figure/object to have more than one line of symmetry.

A **flip graph** is a graph whose vertices are combinatorial or geometric objects, and whose edges link two of these objects when they can be obtained from one another by an elementary operation called a flip. Flip graphs are special cases of geometric graphs.

- ↑ Kendall, D.G. (1984). "Shape Manifolds, Procrustean Metrics, and Complex Projective Spaces".
*Bulletin of the London Mathematical Society*.**16**(2): 81–121. doi:10.1112/blms/16.2.81. - ↑ Kendall, D.G. (1984). "Shape Manifolds, Procrustean Metrics, and Complex Projective Spaces" (PDF).
*Bulletin of the London Mathematical Society*.**16**(2): 81–121. doi:10.1112/blms/16.2.81. - ↑ Here, scale means only uniform scaling, as non-uniform scaling would change the shape of the object (e.g., it would turn a square into a rectangle).
- ↑ Hubbard, John H.; West, Beverly H. (1995).
*Differential Equations: A Dynamical Systems Approach. Part II: Higher-Dimensional Systems*. Texts in Applied Mathematics.**18**. Springer. p. 204. ISBN 978-0-387-94377-0. - ↑ J.A. Lester (1996) "Triangles I: Shapes",
*Aequationes Mathematicae*52:30–54 - ↑ Rafael Artzy (1994) "Shapes of Polygons",
*Journal of Geometry*50(1–2):11–15 - ↑ Marr, D., & Nishihara, H. (1978). Representation and recognition of the spatial organization of three-dimensional shapes. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London, 200, 269-294.
- ↑ Andreopoulos, Alexander; Tsotsos, John K. (2013). "50 Years of object recognition: Directions forward".
*Computer Vision and Image Understanding*.**117**(8): 827–891. doi:10.1016/j.cviu.2013.04.005. - ↑ Huang, Liqiang (2020). "Space of preattentive shape features".
*Journal of Vision*.**20**(4): 10. doi: 10.1167/jov.20.4.10 . PMC 7405702 . PMID 32315405. - ↑ Alexander, R. G.; Schmidt, J.; Zelinsky, G.Z. (2014). "Are summary statistics enough? Evidence for the importance of shape in guiding visual search".
*Visual Cognition*.**22**(3–4): 595–609. doi:10.1080/13506285.2014.890989. PMC 4500174 . PMID 26180505. - ↑ Wolfe, Jeremy M.; Horowitz, Todd S. (2017). "Five factors that guide attention in visual search".
*Nature Human Behaviour*.**1**(3). doi:10.1038/s41562-017-0058. S2CID 2994044.

- The dictionary definition of
*shape*at Wiktionary

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