Difference between a Rhombus and a Square

By: | Updated: Nov-29, 2017

If you have been on the internet looking for articles that explain the difference between a rhombus and a square, you have probably come across articles that say a square is actually a rhombus. Is this correct? And if it is, what is the reason behind it? If it isn’t correct, then what is the difference between a rhombus and a square?

Summary Table

Rhombus Square
Has two opposite internal angles that are equal Has four right angles (90 degrees)
Sides are not perpendicular to one another Sides are perpendicular to each other

Descriptions

rhombus

A rhombus is a parallelogram that:

  • has four sides of equal length
  • has two sides that are parallel
  • has opposite sides that are parallel
  • has opposite angles that are equal
  • has perpendicular diagonals that are of unequal length
  • has diagonals that form an interior right angle when they meet at the center
  • has opposite angles that are of equal measure

Because of its appearance, a rhombus is also sometimes called a “diamond” or a square that is being pushed over to one side.

square

On the other hand, a square is a type of parallelogram that:

  • has four sides which are all congruent (or of equal length)
  • has four right angles (90 degrees)
  • has diagonals that are of equal length
  • has diagonals that bisect each other at 90 degrees
  • has opposite sides that are parallel with all equal lengths
  • has opposite angles that are also congruent

A square is technically a rhombus (it has parallel sides and perpendicular diagonals that bisect each other). It is also, by definition, a trapezoid, a kite, and a rectangle.

Rhombus vs Square

So if a square is a rhombus, then what is the difference between a rhombus and a square?

Both a rhombus and a square are parallelograms and quadrilaterals (which means they have four sides with parallel opposite sides). The main difference between the two is that, while a rhombus has two opposite internal angles of equal measure, a square has four right angles with equal measure. Additionally, a rhombus does not have sides that are perpendicular to each other, unlike to a square.

In short, a rhombus that has right angles or angles that measure 90 degrees is considered a square. This means that a square is a rhombus, but not all rhombuses are squares.

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