[rek-tang-guh l]


a parallelogram having four right angles.

Origin of rectangle

1565–75; < Medieval Latin rēctangulum, Late Latin rēctiangulum right-angled triangle (noun use of neuter of rēctiangulus having a right angle), equivalent to rēcti- recti- + angulum angle1 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for rectangle

Contemporary Examples of rectangle

  • “I care only about what is on the square or rectangle in front of me,” he said.

    The Daily Beast logo
    Art on the Tracks

    Malcolm Jones

    February 1, 2014

  • In the same way that square or rectangle frames separate a work of art from “reality,” our homes frame, define and separate us.

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    Can We Live Together, Roland Barthes?

    Austen Rosenfeld

    December 19, 2012

  • I turn the business letter one quarter turn to the right and roll it again into a rectangle, folding this into thirds.

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    The Art of Making Puff Pastry

    Kate Weiner

    February 23, 2011

Historical Examples of rectangle

British Dictionary definitions for rectangle



a parallelogram having four right anglesCompare rhombus

Word Origin for rectangle

C16: from Medieval Latin rectangulum, from Latin rectus straight + angulus angle
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for rectangle

1570s, from Middle French rectangle (16c.) and directly from Late Latin rectangulum, from rect-, comb. form of Latin rectus "right" (see right (adj.1)) + Old French angle (see angle (n.)). Medieval Latin rectangulum meant "a triangle having a right angle."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Science definitions for rectangle



A four-sided plane figure with four right angles.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.