# Perimeter of a Polygon – Definition with Examples

Updated on January 12, 2024

Let’s dive into an adventurous journey exploring the fascinating world of polygons! Here at Brighterly, we believe in making learning fun and effective. We’re going to explore a fundamental aspect of polygons – their perimeters.

Now imagine, if you will, a string that we lay along the edges of a shape. That string, my friends, represents the perimeter of that shape. Whether it’s a triangle, a square, or a complex dodecagon, that string follows their sides, defining the boundary of these shapes. It’s like a path you would take if you were to walk around the edges of a garden or a park. So, in essence, the perimeter of a polygon is the total distance around its sides.

But wait, it gets more interesting when we dive into different kinds of polygons. Regular and irregular polygons have their unique ways of determining the perimeter. All the while, our friend, the string, remains faithful, helping us trace the perimeter, whether the sides are equal (as in regular polygons) or varied (as in irregular polygons). It’s an intriguing concept that has wide applications, from designing a soccer field to creating a blueprint for a house. So let’s unravel the mystery of the ‘perimeter’ together, and remember, at Brighterly, we transform learning into a joyful journey!

## What is the Perimeter of a Polygon?

A polygon is a 2-dimensional geometric shape with straight, non-intersecting sides. The term originates from the Greek words ‘poly,’ meaning ‘many,’ and ‘gonia,’ meaning ‘angle.’ Hence, a polygon is a shape with many angles. The perimeter of a polygon, on the other hand, is the total distance around its edges or sides. It’s the equivalent of taking a piece of string, laying it along each side of the polygon, and then measuring the length of that string. In other words, the perimeter gives you the ‘boundary length’ of a polygon. The perimeter of a polygon can be found by adding up the lengths of all its sides. The more sides a polygon has, the more additions you’ll have to do to find the total perimeter. This simple yet essential concept is fundamental in many areas of mathematics and is particularly crucial in subjects like geometry and algebra.

## Difference Between Area and Perimeter of a Polygon

Understanding the difference between the area and the perimeter of a polygon is crucial. While the perimeter of a polygon is the total distance around its edges, the area of a polygon is the total space inside its boundaries. In simpler terms, if you consider a polygon as a piece of land, the perimeter would be the length of the fence you’d need to enclose it, while the area would be the total land space within the fence. Both these quantities are significant, but they serve different purposes. The perimeter is often used when we need to know the boundary length, such as the amount of fencing needed for a garden. In contrast, the area is used when we need to cover a surface, like painting a wall or laying tiles on a floor.

## Perimeter of a Regular Polygon

A regular polygon is a polygon in which all sides and angles are equal. For such polygons, calculating the perimeter becomes straightforward because you simply multiply the length of one side (since all sides are equal) by the number of sides. For example, if you have a regular hexagon (a six-sided polygon) with each side measuring 5 units, the perimeter would be 5 units * 6, which equals 30 units. This formula makes it incredibly simple to determine the perimeter of regular polygons and is a handy tool in many mathematical calculations.

## Perimeter of an Irregular Polygon

An irregular polygon, unlike a regular polygon, doesn’t have all sides and angles equal. This means that to find the perimeter of an irregular polygon, you must add up the lengths of all its individual sides. If you have a five-sided irregular polygon, for example, with sides measuring 3 units, 4 units, 5 units, 6 units, and 7 units, the perimeter would be 3+4+5+6+7, which equals 25 units. Calculating the perimeter of irregular polygons can be slightly more challenging than regular polygons, but with practice, it becomes easy.

## Perimeter of Polygons Examples

Let’s look at a couple of examples to understand the concept of perimeters better.

Example 1: Consider a regular octagon (an eight-sided polygon) with each side measuring 2 units. Using the formula for the perimeter of a regular polygon, the perimeter of this octagon would be 2 units * 8, which equals 16 units.

Example 2: Now, consider an irregular pentagon (a five-sided polygon) with sides measuring 1 unit, 2 units, 3 units, 4 units, and 5 units. Using the method for the perimeter of an irregular polygon, the perimeter of this pentagon would be 1+2+3+4+5, which equals 15 units.

## Practice Questions on Perimeter of Polygons

Now that we’ve learned about the perimeter of polygons, it’s time for some practice! Try to solve these problems:

- Find the perimeter of a regular hexagon with each side measuring 6 units.
- Determine the perimeter of an irregular quadrilateral with sides measuring 3 units, 5 units, 4 units, and 6 units.

Remember, practice makes perfect, and the more you work on these problems, the better you’ll understand the concept.

## Conclusion

In the magical world of geometry, understanding the perimeter of polygons, both regular and irregular, is like acquiring a superpower. It’s a skill that lights up your mathematical journey and allows you to decode the secrets hidden in the shapes that surround us. Whether it’s a soccer field, a flower bed, a piece of land, or a piece of wire bent into a shape, the concept of perimeter is all around us!

At Brighterly, we take pride in empowering young minds with such skills. We aim to make learning not just an academic chore, but a fun-filled adventure. So remember, as you explore the world of polygons, that you’re not merely learning a concept, but gaining a tool that is both practical and fascinating.

So keep practicing, keep exploring, and let your curiosity guide you. Learning the perimeter of polygons is just the beginning of a fantastic mathematical journey. And always remember, at Brighterly, we learn, we grow, and we shine brighter every day!

## Frequently Asked Questions on Perimeter of Polygons

### What is a Polygon?

A polygon is a 2-dimensional figure composed of straight, non-intersecting lines. Each line segment meets exactly two others at its endpoints, forming a closed path. In other words, if you start from one point and trace the sides, you will return to the starting point without lifting your pen.

### What is the Perimeter of a Polygon?

The perimeter of a polygon is the total distance around its sides. It’s like taking a journey along the boundary of the polygon. In mathematical terms, it’s the sum of the lengths of all its sides.

### How to Calculate the Perimeter of a Regular Polygon?

For regular polygons, where all sides are equal, calculating the perimeter is a breeze. You simply multiply the length of one side by the total number of sides. It’s like knowing the length of one fence panel and then multiplying it by the number of panels to know the total fencing length.

### How to Calculate the Perimeter of an Irregular Polygon?

Irregular polygons are a bit trickier as they don’t have equal sides. But don’t worry, the method is straightforward. You just need to add up the lengths of all the sides, and voila, you have the perimeter!