Difference Between Similar Terms and Objects

Difference Between Length and Width

Length vs Width

There is currently some confusion going on when distinguishing length from width. The problem is that the descriptions of the two are somewhat different depending on where you learned it. If it’s within the confines of your classroom, most students are taught in mathematics that a rectangle parallelogram (with parallel sides) will have its longest side as the length while the shorter side is the width. This is regardless of whether the longer side is the vertical side or the horizontal side. However, many have observed that the length is usually the vertical, and the width is the one in line with the horizontal plane.

The confusion continues because in some other aspects the length is not always the longest measurement of an object. For example, some wires are actually thicker (width) as opposed to cutting their shorter lengths. FET transistors also have channel widths having greater measures than their channel length. In the layman’s understanding, though, length is simply describing how long something is while width is telling someone how wide an object is.

Width is otherwise known as the breadth. It is the distance from one side to the other side which measures across a particular shape or object whose lengths are forming right angles with the sides as in the case of a rectangle.

Length and width are two fundamental one-dimensional units compared to the measurement of the rectangle’s area which is a product of two units, the length and width. There are many units of length used today. The most basic of which is the meter in the SI units of measurement. Other units for length are: foot, yard, mile, and inch for the Imperial or English units of measurement. There are also some non-SI length units like: micron, Norwegian mil, angstrom, and Fermi.

Length can also refer to an extent of time like asking how long a certain activity will take. Some also use length in the same context as distance like when one says, “Hold it at arm’s length!”

Summary:

1.Length is describing how long something is while width is describing how wide an object is.
2.In geometry, length pertains to the longest side of the rectangle while width is the shorter side.
3.Length can also refer to an extent of time or a measure of distance.
4.The most common unit for measuring length is the meter.


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2 Comments

  1. When the size of an advertisement is refered to there is no ambiguity. All over the world it is hight multiplied by width — where height is the verticle axis (top to bottom or north to south) and width is the horizontal axix (left to right or east to west).

  2. I am trying to understand the difference between the height of an object and the length. You confused me in your summary where you wrote that “width is also known as height.”

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