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What is a Dimension in Math?

Instructor: Mark Boster
When trying to fit one thing into another, it is important to know dimensions. If you don't measure the directions correctly, the items might not fit the way you want them to. Be sure to measure all three ways so you are sure everything will be okay.

The Doghouse Dilemma

Tammy wanted to get a doghouse for her dog, Chi Chi, to live in. The doghouse was going to go in the backyard. She thought that was a good place for the doghouse because there was a high fence around the yard so Chi Chi couldn't get out.

Tammy and her father went to the store, bought a doghouse, and brought it home. It was a beautiful doghouse, but the problem was it wouldn't fit through the gate to get it into the backyard! It was too bad that Tammy didn't know about dimensions, or she could have avoided this problem.

Dimension in Math

Tammy might have been able to get Chi Chi's doghouse in the backyard if she had measured how wide the gate was and bought a house that would fit. When she measured the width of the gate, she would have measured one dimension. A dimension is the distance in one direction, in this case, width. There are other dimensions in math; let's check them all out.

Types of Dimensions

There are three dimensions in math; length, width, and height. Length is like measuring a piece of string: there is only one way to measure it. You can only measure it from one end to the other. A straight line on a piece of paper is another example of length. A line is one-dimensional.

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