Area of a Trapezoid

Area: Learn

Area is the space within a shape. The units of area are the squares of the units of length (that is, if a shape's sides are measured in meters, then the shape's area is measured in square meters).

Trapezoids are a special four-sided shape where two of the sides are parallel but the other two are not. We can use a method where we average the two parallel sides in order to make the trapezoid behave more like a parallelogram.

In a trapezoid, the two parallel sides are used as the bases. The height is then determined by a line which is drawn straight from one base to the other. The diagram below shows this.

trapezoid diagram

To find the area of a trapezoid, perform the following calculations:

  • Add the lengths of the 2 bases (parallel sides)
  • Divide by 2 to get the average length of the bases.
  • Multiply this by the height (distance between the parallel sides)

For example, a trapezoid with bases of 4cm and 2cm and a height of 5cm has an area which is calculated as:

  • Base 1 + Base 2 = 4 + 2 = 6
  • Average of bases = 6/2 = 3
  • Multiply by the Height: 3 * 5 = 15cm2

Area: Practice


What is the area of a trapezoid with the measurements given?
Bases of cm and cm
Height of cm


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