Length vs Width – Difference Between Length and Width

Length vs Width – Difference Between Length and Width

Do you have an idea of how far it is from, say, New York City to the end of the earth? OK, that is a troll question. No one really knows the answer to that. But one thing we do know is that one can record the distance between two points on a real shape. In order to tell length and width apart, one has to understand the difference between length and width.

In elementary school, pupils are taught that the length of an object is the longest, while the width is the shorter plane. But some scholars argue that the length of a figure is simply the height of the figure in alignment with a vertical plane, while the width of a figure is the breadth in alignment with a horizontal plane.

In essence, these scholars believe it does not have anything to do with which is the longest or the shortest. We will focus on the conventional definitions here.

Definition of Length – What Does Length Mean?

Length is a fundamental one-dimensional unit that describes the longest geometric measurement of an object from one end to the other. It is used to quantify distance from one point to another and is the lengthiest in the three dimensions of a figure.

This term originated from the Germans and was later adopted by the English. Since then, it has been used to describe the biggest distance from point A to B. Virtually every object and body has a length, but in the confinement of a classroom, students are mostly taught about this measurement using a definite shape.

Here are some examples to further illustrate the difference between width and length with the use of solid shapes. The first example that readily comes to mind is the square. It has four equal sides, which means there is no particular side that is greater than the other and that can be defined as the length or the width. To make things simpler, all the sides of a square are referred to as the length.

A rectangle is a better example. It has four sides, but they are not all the same length. The horizontal sides are longer than the vertical sides, which means the horizontal sides constitute the length and the vertical sides constitute the width of the shape.

Definition of Width – What Does Width Mean?

Width is defined as a fundamental one-dimensional unit that describes the geometric measurement of an element from side to side. Note that in this case, the measurement is from side to side as opposed to length, which is measured from end to end. In other words, this term can also be defined as the shortest side of an object or body in comparison to a certain length.

This concept is more focused on the intensity of a figure, which defines how broad an entity is. It is one of the earliest known measurements used by the people of Egypt, Elam, the Indus Valley, and Mesopotamia in the third millennium BC. It has remained in use until this day in solving mathematical problems.

The distance from one side of a door to the other is a good example of this concept. If it is a regular door, then it is a rectangular plane with a height that is longer than the breadth. A triangle has three sides, the shortest of which is the width.

What Is Main the Difference Between Width and Length?

In this section, we will make a length vs width comparison to show how these two are different from each other in clearer terms.

Basis of ComparisonLengthWidth
DefinitionA fundamental one-dimensional unit that describes the longest geometric measurement of an object from one end to the otherA fundamental one-dimensional unit that describes the geometric measurement of an object from side to side
DeterminesHow long an object or a body measuresHow wide an object measures
PlaneUsually verticalUsually horizontal

So What Length and Width Is? – Conclusion

In the width vs length comparison, it is obvious that the longest side that forms a right angle is usually referred to as the latter, while the shortest side that forms a right angle is defined as the former. These measures are applied in our daily life, and they form fundamental parts of most mathematical formulas.