What is a Polyhedron? - Characteristics & Examples

An error occurred trying to load this video.

Try refreshing the page, or contact customer support.

Coming up next: Types of Polyhedrons

You're on a roll. Keep up the good work!

Take Quiz Watch Next Lesson
Your next lesson will play in 10 seconds
  • 0:00 Polyhedrons
  • 0:55 Identifying Characteristic
  • 1:38 Examples
  • 2:35 Lesson Summary
Create an account to start this course today
Try it free for 5 days!
Create An Account
Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Yuanxin (Amy) Yang Alcocer

Amy has a master's degree in secondary education and has taught math at a public charter high school.

After watching this video lesson, you will be able to identify a polyhedron when you see one. You will also be able to tell your friends what the distinguishing identifying factor of a polyhedron is.


In this lesson, you will see what polyhedrons are. Why is it important to learn about polyhedrons? It is good to learn about polyhedrons because these shapes play an important part in more complex math problems.

In math, we define a polyhedron as a solid with flat faces. What does this mean? When you see or hear the word 'solid,' it refers to a shape that is 3-dimensional. When a shape is 3-dimensional, it means that it has space inside of it. It is not a flat object that you draw on a flat piece of paper. In other words, 3-dimensional solids are things that you can hold. Your computer is a 3-dimensional solid, as is your television and your teddy bear. But not all of these things are polyhedrons.

There are actually quite a few things around you that are polyhedrons if you look at them carefully. How can you find these polyhedrons?

Identifying Characteristic

You can identify polyhedrons by their identifying characteristic. So, what is this characteristic? It is that these solids all have flat faces. They don't have curved faces. The word 'faces' refers to the sides of the solid. So if all the sides of the solid are flat, then it is a polyhedron. But if the solid has any curved sides at all, then it is not a polyhedron.

So, your teddy bear is not a polyhedron. If your television has a curved screen, then it is not a polyhedron. But if your television has all flat sides, then it is a polyhedron. The same goes for your computer; if all the sides are flat, then it is a polyhedron.


There are many other examples of polyhedrons in the world around you. Here are some other examples.

To unlock this lesson you must be a Study.com Member.
Create your account

Register for a free trial

Are you a student or a teacher?
I am a teacher
What is your educational goal?

Unlock Your Education

See for yourself why 10 million people use Study.com

Become a Study.com member and start learning now.
Become a Member  Back

Earning College Credit

Did you know… We have over 79 college courses that prepare you to earn credit by exam that is accepted by over 2,000 colleges and universities. You can test out of the first two years of college and save thousands off your degree. Anyone can earn credit-by-exam regardless of age or education level.

To learn more, visit our Earning Credit Page

Transferring credit to the school of your choice

Not sure what college you want to attend yet? Study.com has thousands of articles about every imaginable degree, area of study and career path that can help you find the school that's right for you.

Create an account to start this course today
Try it free for 5 days!
Create An Account