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Trapezium is a polygon with four sides, i.e. it is a quadrilateral. Trapezium originated from the Greek word “trapeze” which means table. It is a complex quadrilateral. A trapezium is a special quadrilateral with only one pair of parallel sides. Trapezium is a two-dimensional shape that appears as a table. A trapezium has four sides and four vertices. We see the trapezium shape in our daily life and is one of the most common shapes.

Let’s learn about trapezium its properties, formulas, and others in this article.

What is a Trapezium?

A trapezium is a closed-shaped two-dimensional quadrilateral having a pair of parallel opposite sides. The parallel sides of a trapezium are called bases and the non-parallel sides of a trapezium are called legs. The trapezium has four sides and four corners. A parallelogram is also called a trapezoid with two parallel sides. 

Trapezium

In the above figure, a and b are the bases of the trapezium and h is the height of the trapezium.

Shape of Trapezium

Trapezium is a quadrilateral i.e., polygon with four sides. A trapezium has four sides with a pair of opposite sides parallel to each other. The trapezium shape is very common, and we see various things in our daily life that are similar to the trapezium. Some real-life examples of trapezium observed by us are trapezium-shaped tables, tiles, paintings and others.

Types of Trapezium

Based on the sides and the angles, the trapezium is of three types:

  • Scalene Trapezium 
  • Isosceles Trapezium
  • Right Trapezium
Types of Trapezium

Isosceles Trapezium

The trapezium which has an equal length of legs is called an isosceles trapezium, i.e. in an Isosceles Trapezium, the two non-parallel sides are equal.

Scalene Trapezium

A trapezium with all the sides not equal is called a scalene trapezium. In a scalene trapezium, no two angles are equal.

Right Trapezium

A trapezium that has a right angle pair, adjacent to each other is known as a right trapezium. 

Irregular Trapezium

A trapezium has one pair of parallel sides and the other two sides are non-parallel. In a regular trapezium, the other two non-parallel sides are equal, but in the case of an irregular trapezium the two non-parallel opposite sides, are unequal.

Properties of Trapezium

There are various properties of trapezium, some of which are as follows:

Trapezium Properties
  • Parallel Sides: A trapezium has two parallel sides, which are called bases. Example: Sides AB and CD are parallel to each other, shown in the figure.
  • Non-Parallel Sides: Non-parallel sides of a trapezium are called the legs and the legs of a trapezium are not equal in length. Example: Sides AD and BC are non-parallel sides of the trapezium.
  • Height or Altitude: Perpendicular distance between the bases is called the height or altitude of the trapezium. In the above diagram, h is the height of the trapezium.
  • Sum of Angles
    • Ajacent interior angles in a trapezium sum up to 180°. Example: There are two pairs of co-interior angles. One pair is ∠ A and ∠ D whereas the other pair is ∠ B and ∠ C. The sum of each pair of co-interior angles is 180°.
    • Sum of all the interior angles in a trapezium is always 360°. Example: In the figure ∠A+∠D is 180°  and ∠B+∠C is 180°. Therefore ∠A+∠D +∠B+∠C = 360°.
  • Median: Median of a trapezium is the line segment that connects the midpoints of the legs. The median is parallel to the bases and its length is the average of the lengths of the bases.
  • Trapezium has exactly one pair of opposite sides that are parallel.

Trapezium Formulas

Important formulas of a Trapezium are:

  • Area of Trapezium =  ½ (Sum of Parallel Sides) × (Distance between Parallel Sides)
  • Perimeter of Trapezium = Sum of all Four Sides

Area of Trapezium

Trapezium has two parallel sides a, and b units respectively, and its altitude is h. 

Now area of trapezium can be calculated by finding the average of bases and multiplying its result by the altitude. Hence,

Area of Trapezium  = ((a +b)/2) × h 

where,

  • a and b are Bases of Trapezium
  • h is Altitude

Area of Isosceles Trapezium

Let a and b be the length of parallel sides of a trapezium ABCD, where a and b are the bases of the trapezium and a>b.

Now, as it is an Isosceles Trapezium c is the length of both the two non-parallel sides and h is the height of the trapezium.

Now, AB = a, CD = b, BC = AD = c

In Right Triangle, AED

Length of perpendicular, h = √(c2 – (a-b)2)   [using Pythagoras theorem]….(1)

Now,

Area = ½ × Sum of Parallel Sides × Height of Trapezium 

Area = ½ × (a+b) × h

Using equation (1)

Area of Isosceles Trapezium = 1/2 × [√(c2 – (a-b)2) (a+b)]

Learn more about, Area of Trapezium

Perimeter of Trapezium

Perimeter of a trapezium is given by calculating the sum of all its sides. Hence, 

Perimeter of trapezium = AB + BC + CD + AD

where, AB, BC, CD and AD are Sides of Trapezium

Perimeter of Isosceles Trapezium

If in an Isosceles trapezium a and b are the lengths of parallel sides i.e. the bases and c is the length of two equal non-parallel sides, then the perimeter is given by:

Perimeter = a + b + 2c

where,

  • a, b are Bases of Trapezium
  • c is Equal Side of Trapezium

Learn more about, Perimeter of Trapezium

Difference between Trapezium and Trapezoid

In general terms, both Trapezium and Trapezoid are the same but the difference lies in their country of origin.

Trapezium is of British origin, it is a four-sided polygon and a two-dimensional figure it has exactly one pair of parallel sides opposite to each other. In India, we follow British English hence, the word Trapezium is used.

Trapezoid is of American origin, it is also a four-sided polygon with one pair of parallel sides opposite to each other. Parallel sides are the bases and another two non-parallel sides are called the legs of the trapezoid.

Angles of Trapezium

Trapezium is a quadrilateral and the sum of all the angles of a quadrilateral is 360 degrees. So the sum of all the interior angles of the trapezium is 360 degrees.

For any regular trapezium i.e., the trapezium in which non-parallel sides are equal to the adjoining angles formed between the parallel line and the non-parallel line is equal. Thus, sum of these two angles is supplementary.

Let’s take an example to support this concept for an isosceles trapezium ABCD if AB is parallel to CD and AD is equal to CD then, we know that ∠A = ∠B and ∠C = ∠D then,

∠A + ∠B + ∠C + ∠D = 360°

Here, ∠A = ∠B and ∠C = ∠D

∠A + ∠A + ∠C + ∠C = 360°

2(∠A + ∠C) = 360°

(∠A + ∠C) = 180°

Similarly, (∠B + ∠D) = 180°

Diagonal of Trapezium

Trapezium is a special type of quadrilateral; thus, trapezium also have two diagonals. The diagonals of a trapezium do not have equal lengths, unlike in some other quadrilaterals such as rectangles or parallelograms. Diagonals of trapezium do not have equal lengths and the lengths of the diagonals depend on the lengths of the bases and the angles of the trapezium.

Example: For an isosceles trapezium ABCD, the base angle ∠A is 80° then find the other angle ∠C.

We know that for an Isosceles Trapezium ABCD,

(∠A + ∠C) = 180°

Given, ∠A = 80°

Now, 80° + ∠C = 180°

∠C = 180 – 80

∠C = 100°

Thus, Required Angle ∠C is 100°

Read More,

Examples on Trapezium

Example 1: Find the fourth side of the trapezium, if the other three sides are 8 cm, 12 cm, and 16 cm, and the perimeter is 40 cm.

Solution: 

Perimeter is given as the sum of all its sides. Let the length o unknown be ‘x’ units. 

Perimeter =  40 

40 = 8 + 12 + 16 + x

x = 40 – (8 + 12 + 16) 

   = 4 cm 

Thus, length of the unknown side is 4 cm

Example 2: A trapezium has parallel sides of lengths 15 cm and 11 cm, and non-parallel sides of length 5 cm each. Calculate the perimeter of the trapezium.

Solution:

It is a Isosceles Trapezium because it is clearly mentioned that non parallel sides of length 5 cm each are equal.

According to Isosceles Trapezium if two non-parallel sides of Trapezium are of equal length then it is known as Isosceles Trapezium.

Given,

  • a = 15 cm
  • b = 11 cm
  • c = 5 cm

Perimeter = a + b + 2c 

P = 15 + 11 + 2(5)

P = 15 + 11 + 10

P = 36 cm

Example 3: Find Perimeter of a Trapezium whose sides are 12 cm, 14 cm, 16 cm, and 18 cm.

Solution:

P = Sum of all Sides

P = 12 + 14 + 16 + 18

P = 60 cm

Hence, perimeter of trapezium is 60 cm

Example 4: Find Area of Trapezium, in which sum of parallel sides is 60 cm, and its height is 10 cm.

Solution:

Given,

  • Sum of Parallel sides 60 cm
  • height, h = 10 cm

Area of Trapezium, A = 1/2 × Sum of parallel sides × Distance between Parallel Sides

Substituting Given Values,

A =1/2×60×10

A = 30×10

A = 300 cm2

Therefore, Area of Trapezium =300 cm2

FAQs on Trapezium

What is Trapezium Shape?

Trapezium is a quadrilateral in which a pair of lines is always parallel. It resembles the shape of a table. Its name is taken from the Greek word “trapeze” which means table.

How Many Types of Trapezium?

There are two types of Trapezium,

  • Regular Trapezium: In which the other pair of lines are equal.
  • Irregular Trapezium: In which the other pair of lines are not equal.

How Many Parallel Sides do a Trapezium have?

We know that trapezium, is a quadrilateral with one pair of parallel sides. Thus, a trapezium has a pair of parallel lines(sides).

Can a Trapezium be Considered a Quadrilateral?

A has four sides, four vertices, and four angles. Hence it can be considered a quadrilateral,  sum of all four interior angles of a trapezium is 360 degrees.

Can a Square be Called a Trapezium?

A trapezium is a quadrilateral with only one pair of parallel sides and the other two sides are non-parallel. But in the case of a Square, it has two pairs of parallel sides hence, it can not be considered a Trapezium.

Are the diagonals of a trapezium always equal?

The diagonals of a trapezium may not be equal. In the case of a Regular polygon, the diagonals are equal but this is not true in the case of an Irregular Polygon.

What are the properties of a trapezium?

5 properties of a Trapezium are:

  • In trapezium, bases are parallel to each other. 
  • A trapezium has supplementary adjacent angles.
  • Only one pair of opposite sides are parallel.
  • Sum of all interior angles in a trapezium is always 360°.
  • The line that joins the mid-point of non-parallel sides is always parallel to bases.


Last Updated : 18 Feb, 2024
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