What Is a Compound Shape?

The compound
••• photoart23D/iStock/Getty Images

A compound shape is shape made up of two or more basic shapes. You can place a thin rectangle horizontally on top of a thin rectangle placed vertically so that you form a T shape. Or, you can create an L shape by placing two thin rectangles perpendicular at right angles to each other, with one rectangle vertical and the other rectangle horizontal. You can combine any number of basic shapes to make a compound shape. The area of the compound shape equals the areas of its component shapes added together.

Basic Shapes and Compound Shapes

The basic shapes of geometry are squares, rectangles, circles and triangles, as well as trapezoids, rhombuses, stars, hexagons, octagons and ovals. You can use any of these shapes -- or sections of these shapes -- to construct a compound shape. You can have a compound shape that consists of a semi-circle attached to the side of a rectangle. You can also use multiple sections of basic shapes in the same compound shape. For example, you can make a heart shape out of a square and two semi-circles. Place the square on its vertice so that it resembles a diamond. To complete the heart shape, place one semi-circle along the top left side of the square -- with the semi-circle's flat side next to the top left side of the square -- and one semi-circle along the top right side of the square -- with its flat side next to the top right side of the square.

Related Articles

How to Make a 3D Hexagon
Difference Between Vertices & Edges
How to Calculate Pyramid Angles
How to Calculate the Surface Area of a Cylinder
How do I Create a Hexagon From Diamond Shapes?
How to Find the Area of a Polygon
How to Find the Lateral Area of a Square Pyramid
How to Calculate Perimeter and Area Ratio
Properties of Rectangular Prisms
How to Find the Missing Slope of a Trapezoid
What Are Prisms & Pyramids?
How To Calculate The Area of an Irregular Shape
How to Solve a Hexagon
How to Make a Simple Machine for a Science Project
How to Find the Area of Triangles & Trapezoids
How to Convert Square Dimensions to Round
How to Make a Canoe for a School Project
How to Find the Area of a Shaded Part of a Square With...
Similarities & Differences of Cubes & Cuboids
How to Build an Egg Drop Container with Straws