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What are Polygons? [Types, Shapes, Formulas and Examples]

What are Polygons? [Types, Shapes, Formulas and Examples]

Learning to design interior and exterior angles of polygons is one of the most daunting tasks for students during geometry class: teachers and private math tutors say so. Polygon is a 2D (two-dimensional) geometric figure constructed with straight lines having a finite number of sides. Triangle with three sides is the most common example of a polygon. However, there are plenty of common and uncommon polygon shapes we see and experience without even knowing.

In this blog post, you will learn everything about polygons, such as their mathematical definition, shapes, types, properties, real-life examples, other examples, and many more things in detail. Before we start learning, here is some interesting information for you. Polygon comes from the Greek language, in which Poly means ‘many’ and -gon means ‘angle.’

Definition of Polygons

Any close two-dimensional shape or plane figure formed with straight line segments is known as a polygon. Open shapes or curved ones don’t make a polygon. It’s a combination of two words, which means ‘many sides .’A polygon comprises many straight-line segments, and the points where these line segments meet are called corners or vertices, making an angle. Moreover, the line segments are called edges or sides. The sides of polygons are not limited, and they could have 3 sides, 11 sides, 44 sides, or more. It can have as many sides as needed. However, the name of the polygon will surely change or differ.

Definition of Polygons

Shapes of polygons

Following are the most common geometrical shapes of a polygon. These all are the perfect shapes and examples of a polygon. However, the number of sides vary, as given below:

Shapes of polygons
Shapes of PolygonNumber of Sides
Triangle or Trigon3
Quadrilateral or Tetragon4
Nonagon or Enneagon9
Heptagon or Septagon7
n-gonn sides
Hendecagon or Undecagon11

Types of Polygons

Polygons are classified into different types depending on the number of sides and angles. Following are the types of polygons with details and examples:

  1. Regular Polygon
  2. Irregular Polygon
  3. Concave Polygon
  4. Convex Polygon
  5. Simple Polygon
  6. Complex Polygon
Types of Polygons

Regular Polygon

A polygon is regular if all sides and interior angles are equal.

For Example: equilateral triangle, square, etc.

Irregular Polygon

A polygon is of irregular type if its sides and interior angles are different in measure. They are primarily in the shape of a pentagon, hexagon, or a different shape compared to the regular polygon.

For Example: a rectangle, scalene triangle, kite, etc.

Concave Polygon

A polygon with inward and outward vertices, one or more interior angles of more than 180 degrees, is a concave polygon. They have at least four sides.

Hint: concave has a cave in it means its internal angle will always be greater than 180°.

Convex Polygon

A polygon will be of convex type if all internal angles are less than 180 degrees. Its vertices are mostly outwards and are exactly opposite of the concave polygon.

Simple Polygon

Any polygon with only one boundary is called a simple polygon. Its lines do not cross over each other.

For Example: a pentagon

Complex Polygon

A polygon whose sides cross over or intersect each other is called a complex polygon. Such polygons are also known as self-intersecting polygons.

Note: a few polygon rules do not work on the complex polygon.

For Example: antiparallelogram, star, etc.

Angles of Polygons

Mainly the angles of the polygons are categorized into two types:

Angles of Polygons

1. Interior Angles

Any of the two given methods calculates the sum of all interior angles of a polygon:

Sum = (n − 2) π radians
n-gon = (n − 2) × 180°
n = number of sides of the polygon

2. Exterior Angles

The exterior angles are always formed on the outside of a polygon. By definition, an angle formed by one of the sides of a polygon and the extension of its adjacent side is known as an exterior angle of a polygon.


  • The sum of an exterior angle and its corresponding interior angle is always equal to 180°
  • Regular polygons’ exterior angles are always equal in measure.

Properties of Polygons

Following are the main properties of polygons based on their shapes, sizes, angles, vertices, and types:

  • All polygons have a 2D shape (closing in a space)
  • Polygons are made with straight sides or lines.
  • Any shape that includes a curve is not a polygon.
  • All regular polygons are also called convex polygons.
  • Circles are not polygons.
  • Calculate = (n-2) x 180° to find the sum of all interior angles of an n-sided polygon.
  • Polygons have both interior and exterior angles.
  • Calculate = 360°/n to measure all exterior angles of an n-sided regular polygon.
  • Use = [(n – 2) × 180°] /n to measure all interior angles of an n-sided regular polygon.
  • Interior angle + exterior angle = 180°
  • Exterior angle = 180° – interior angle.
  • Apply = n (n – 3)/2 to determine the number of diagonals in a polygon.
  • n – 2 is the total number of triangles formed in a polygon by joining the diagonal from its one corner.

Formulas of Polygons

You must learn two basic formulas of polygons such as:

  1. Area of Polygons
  2. Perimeter of Polygons

Area of Polygons

The area is the amount of region covered by a polygon in a two-dimensional plane. The formula of the polygon area depends on the type or shape of the polygon.

Units of Area: (meters)2, (centimeters)2, (inches)2, and (feet)2, etc.

Perimeter of Polygons

Perimeter is the total distance covered by a two-dimensional shape’s sides or boundary length.

Polygon Perimeter = Length of Side 1 + Length of Side 2 + Length of Side 3…+ Length of side N (for an N-sided polygon)

Units of perimeter: meters, cm, inches, feet, etc.

Following are a few polygons with area and perimeter formulas:

  • Triangle

Area: ½ x (base) x (height)

Perimeter: a + b + c

  • Square

Area: side2

Perimeter: 4 (side)

  • Hexagon

Area: 3√3/2 (side)2

Perimeter: sum of all six sides

  • Pentagon

Area: ¼ √5(5+2√5) side2

Perimeter: Sum of all five sides

  • Rectangle

Area: Length x Breadth

Perimeter: 2 (length + breadth)

  • Parallelogram

Area: Base x Height

Perimeter: 2 (Sum of pair of adjacent sides)

  • Rhombus

Area: ½ (Product of diagonals)

Perimeter: 4 x side

  • Trapezoid

Area: 1/2 (sum of parallel side) height

Perimeter: sum of all sides

Frequently Asked Questions and Solved Examples

Question 1: Name seven types of polygons?

Answer: Following are the seven types of polygons:

  1. Octagon
  2. Quadrilateral
  3. Pentagon
  4. Triangle
  5. Decagon
  6. Quadrilateral
  7. Hexagon

Question 2: The “STOP” sign board is a regular polygon. Find the interior angle of this regular hexagonal-shaped signboard.


Total number of sides in a signboard = n = 6
Formula of interior angle of polygon = 180º (n-2) / n
Add values in the formula:
Interior angle = (180º (6-2)) / 6
= (720º) /6
= 120º

Hence, each interior angle of the signboard “STOP” measures 120º.

Question 3: How to calculate the diagonals of a polygon?

Answer: The diagonal of a polygon is measured by n (n – 3) /2, where n is the sides of the polygon.

Question 4: How many diagonals does a triangle have?

Answer: Triangles do not have diagonals.

Question 5: The playground of a school is in the shape of an octagon, and the gardener has to place a rope around its perimeter. The sides are 15m, 15m, 8m, 8m, 10m, 10m, 13m, 13m. calculate the total meters of rope the gardener needs for the perimeter?


As perimeter is the sum of all sides of a polygon
Required length of rope = perimeter of the playground
Perimeter = 15 + 15 + 8 + 8 + 10 + 10 + 13 + 13
= 92 m

Hence, the total length of the rope required = 92m

Question 6: What does a polygon with 7 sides call?

Answer: 7 sided polygon is called Heptagon, and it has 7 vertices.

Question 7: Is a star a polygon?

Answer: Yes, it is. Star is from the field of geometry, and it is known as a star polygon.

Table of Polygons

Below is an important table of polygons with their number of sides, vertices, diagonals, and interior angles:

PolygonNumber of diagonalsNumber of verticesNumber of sidesInterior angles

Real-Life Examples of Polygons

We use polygons all day, every day. in fact, in every moment of life in the form of:

  • Floor designs
  • Fruits
  • Honeycomb
  • Traffic signals
  • Signboards
  • Buildings
  • Species of starfish
  • Laptop, television, and mobile phones (rectangular-shaped screen)
Real-Life Examples of Polygons

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With over 3 years of experience in teaching, Chloe is very deeply connected with the topics that talk about the educational and general aspects of a student's life. Her writing has been very helpful for students to gain a better understanding of their academics and personal well-being. I’m also open to any suggestions that you might have! Please reach out to me at chloedaniel402 [at]