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Learning Objectives

  • Calculate the perimeter of regular and non-regular polygons.


A perimeter is a path that surrounds an area.

The word perimeter comes from the Greek peri (around) and meter (measure).

This means that the perimeter is the measurement around a shape.

Perimeter can be thought of as the length of the outline of a shape. The word may be used either for the path or to describe its length.

To find the perimeter of a shape, you need to add up each segment that makes the border of the shape. For instance, in the diagram below, the length of each side of the rectangle is given:

The perimeter is the sum of all four _____________ of the rectangle, so it would be: 6 ft+4 ft+ ft+ ft=20 feet

The perimeter of a circle is called circumference.

Reading Check

1. Fill in the blank: To find the __________________ of a shape, add up all of its sides.

2. Describe perimeter in your own words:

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