AskDefine | Define pentagon

Dictionary Definition



1 a government building with five sides that serves as the headquarters of the United States Department of Defense
2 the United States military establishment
3 a five-sided polygon

User Contributed Dictionary

see Pentagon



  • (US)
    • /ˈpɛntəgɑn/
    • /"pEnt@gAn/


From French pentagone or late Latin pentagonum, from Greek πεντάγωνον, noun use of the neuter of the adjective πεντάγωνος ‘five-angled’, from πέντε ‘five’ + -γωνος ‘angled’.


  1. A polygon with five sides and five angles.


A polygon with five sides and five angles
  • Danish: pentagon, femkant
  • Dutch: vijfhoek
  • Finnish: viisikulmio, pentagoni
  • French: pentagone
  • German: Fünfeck, Pentagon
  • Hebrew: מחומש
  • Icelandic: fimmhyrningur
  • Irish: peinteagán
  • Italian: pentagono
  • Japanese: 五角形
  • Latvian: piecstūris v.
  • Polish: pięciokąt
  • Portuguese: pentágono
  • Russian: пяти́угольник
  • Spanish: pentágono
  • Swedish: pentagon

Derived terms

Extensive Definition

In geometry, a pentagon is any five-sided polygon. A pentagon may be simple or self-intersecting. The internal angles in a simple pentagon total 540°.

Regular pentagons

The term pentagon is commonly used to mean a regular convex pentagon, where all sides are equal and all interior angles are equal (to 108°). Its Schläfli symbol is .
The area of a regular convex pentagon with side length t is given by A = \frac = \frac\ \approx 1.720477401 t^2.
A pentagram is a regular star pentagon. Its Schläfli symbol is . Its sides form the diagonals of a regular convex pentagon - in this arrangement the sides of the two pentagons are in the golden ratio.


A regular pentagon is constructible using a compass and straightedge, either by inscribing one in a given circle or constructing one on a given edge. This process was described by Euclid in his Elements circa 300 BC.
One method to construct a regular pentagon in a given circle is as follows:
An alternative method is this:
  1. Draw a circle in which to inscribe the pentagon and mark the center point O. (This is the green circle in the diagram to the right).
  2. Choose a point A on the circle that will serve as one vertex of the pentagon. Draw a line through O and A.
  3. Construct a line perpendicular to the line OA passing through O. Mark its intersection with one side of the circle as the point B.
  4. Construct the point C as the midpoint of O and B.
  5. Draw a circle centered at C through the point A. Mark its intersection with the line OB (inside the original circle) as the point D.
  6. Draw a circle centered at A through the point D. Mark its intersections with the original (green) circle as the points E and F.
  7. Draw a circle centered at E through the point A. Mark its other intersection with the original circle as the point G.
  8. Draw a circle centered at F through the point A. Mark its other intersection with the original circle as the point H.
  9. Construct the regular pentagon AEGHF.
After forming a regular convex pentagon, if you join the non-adjacent corners (drawing the diagonals of the pentagon), you obtain a pentagram, with a smaller regular pentagon in the center. Or if you extend the sides until the non-adjacent ones meet, you obtain a larger pentagram.
A simple method of creating a regular pentagon from just a strip of paper is by tying an overhand knot into the strip and carefully flattening the knot by pulling the ends of the paper strip. Folding one of the ends back over the pentagon will reveal a pentagram when backlit.

Pentagons in nature

okra (also called "ladies fingers")

See also

pentagon in Asturian: Pentágonu
pentagon in Azerbaijani: Düzgün beşbucaqlı
pentagon in Catalan: Pentàgon
pentagon in Czech: Pětiúhelník
pentagon in Danish: Femkant
pentagon in German: Fünfeck
pentagon in Spanish: Pentágono
pentagon in Esperanto: Kvinlatero
pentagon in French: Pentagone (figure)
pentagon in Galician: Pentágono (xeometría)
pentagon in Korean: 오각형
pentagon in Indonesian: Segi lima
pentagon in Icelandic: Fimmhyrningur
pentagon in Italian: Pentagono (geometria)
pentagon in Hebrew: מחומש
pentagon in Haitian: Pentagòn
pentagon in Hungarian: Ötszög
pentagon in Dutch: Vijfhoek
pentagon in Japanese: 五角形
pentagon in Norwegian: Pentagon
pentagon in Narom: Chîn-carres
pentagon in Central Khmer: បញ្ចកោណ
pentagon in Polish: Pięciokąt
pentagon in Portuguese: Pentágono
pentagon in Romanian: Pentagon (geometrie)
pentagon in Russian: Пятиугольник
pentagon in Simple English: Pentagon
pentagon in Slovak: Päťuholník
pentagon in Slovenian: Petkotnik
pentagon in Serbian: Петоугао
pentagon in Finnish: Viisikulmio
pentagon in Swedish: Pentagon
pentagon in Telugu: పంచభుజి
pentagon in Thai: รูปห้าเหลี่ยม
pentagon in Turkish: Beşgen
pentagon in Yiddish: פינפעק
pentagon in Chinese: 五边形
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