What is a point? Geometry Made Easy
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# What is a Point?

A point is like the tiniest dot you can imagine. It is so small that it doesn't take up any room at all. It's not an actual object, because it doesn't take up any space. It's the idea of a point - the idea of the tiniest spot. When we draw a point with our pencil, we make it big enough to see, but that's much bigger than a point really is - a point has no size at all.

Sometimes a point can be the endpoint of a line, if the line begins at a certain point and then stretches off to infinity from there. Two points show you where a line goes - one of the axioms or basic ideas of geometry is that there is a line that connects any two points, but only one line and no more. Three points, if you connect them with lines, make a triangle, and four points make a rectangle, or a trapezoid, or a rhombus (a quadrilateral).

Points are also very important in drawing a circle: we can think of a circle as the set of points that are all the same distance from one center point of the circle.

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Karen Carr is Associate Professor Emerita, Department of History, Portland State University. She holds a doctorate in Classical Art and Archaeology from the University of Michigan. Follow her on Instagram, Pinterest, or Twitter, or buy her book, Vandals to Visigoths.
Karen Carr is Associate Professor Emerita, Department of History, Portland State University. She holds a doctorate in Classical Art and Archaeology from the University of Michigan. Follow her on Instagram or Twitter, or buy her book, Vandals to Visigoths.
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