Definition of Perimeter
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Skills Application: Definition of Perimeter
Step-by-Step: Definition of Perimeter
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Perimeter is a Greek term that means “measure around” and originates from the ancient Greek world of construction. In antiquity when they were building temples with columns the columns were made up of cylindrical slices stacked one on top of the other. Each of these stone slices had to have exactly the same girth or “perimeter” so when they were stacked one upon the other the column appeared to be cut from one long piece of stone.

Definition of Perimeter

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In a number of careers, you need to know "how far around" a room or other object is; this is a common way of saying that you need to know its perimeter. To put it another way, the perimeter is the length around an object or a shape. The word “perimeter” comes from Greek, where peri means "around" and meter means "measure."

The perimeter of Canada is the distance along her boundary over land and sea.  A trip around Canada is estimated to be 12,000 miles.

If you're landscaping, think bender board. If you're pouring concrete, think forms. If you're designing clothing, think rick rack. Even physical therapists and fitness trainers measure around waistlines, biceps, and thighs. Those are perimeters, too.

Perimeter is related to length, so units of measure for perimeter are also related to units of measure for length. Perimeter like length can be measured in both metric units (km, m) and inch-based units (ft, mi). Check out the table here to see both systems side by side, symbols and under what other names perimeter might show up in Trades tasks.


A Short Review

Perimeter is the “girth” or measurement around objects or shapes. It can be straight, curved or totally irregular. Perimeter can be plainly measured taking a single measurement, or measured in a few bits and then those measurements need to be added.

Some shapes` perimeters need to be calculated mathematically. We`re here to help, check out our Episodes with some shapes under the Perimeter tab.

The idea of perimeter can be hidden in everyday situations under many names, check out the Advanced tab to see them.

GetMath Worksheet Level1 novertspaac

Worksheet: Level 1

The operations used are clearly specified. Only one type of mathematical operation is used in a task.

Worksheet: Level 1 Sample Question


  1. Does the string that ties a balloon`s end runs around the ballon`s perimeter?
  2. What is an important criteria that makes perimeter different from length?

Worksheet: Level 1 Answer Key


  1. Yes, perimeter can be measured around an abject anywhere, not just at the widest point.
  2. It is important to complete a loop around the shape or object.

Download Worksheet: Level 1

GetMath Worksheet Level2 novertspaac

Worksheet: Level 2

Tasks involve one or two types of mathematical operation. Few steps of calculation are required.

Worksheet: Level 2 Sample Question


  1. Yoda says: “Create a perimeter around the survivors”. Does he mean mingle with them? Flank them on one side? Encircle them?
  2. Which shape or object has only 1 perimeter, regardless of where it is measured?

Worksheet: Level 2 Sample Answer


  1. Encircle them or surround them.
  2. Circle (shape) or sphere (object).

Download Worksheet: Level 2


Worksheet: Advanced Level 1

Tasks involve multiple steps of calculation. Advanced mathematical techniques may be required.

Worksheet: Advanced Level Sample

Measurement math connections for trades & technology

Perimeter`s is a type of Length or Distance. It always implies Length that completes an enclosed loop or circuit. Perimeter can be made of circular or straight runs.

It can be measured in Metric or Imperial units, many of these are used only in specific industries. For example the perimeter of Earth in nautical miles is mostly applicable to sea travel, navigation and aviation. The perimeter of a piston ring inside a cylinder bore is only used in automotive context.

Property of matter being measured:
possible synonyms
Unit of measure
Imperial & US
Distance (1-D)
in straight line:
straight lines of circles:
loops (full or part) :
length, width, height,
depth, thickness, gauge
side, edge, strain
L or l, w, h,
d, th, ga.
s, e,  e (Greek epsilon)
and other prefixes (kilo, centi, …)
mile, fathom
furlong, yard
feet, inch
mi, fm
fur, yd
ft, in
diameter, caliber bore
radius, chord
d, D or Ø, cal
b or Ø
r or R, ch
perimeter circumference, arc, stroke
p or P,
c, a

Download Worksheet: Advanced Level 1



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