# Diameter vs. Width: Know the Difference

By Shumaila Saeed || Updated on December 25, 2023

**Diameter is the straight line passing from side to side through the center of a body, while width is the measurement of how broad an object is side to side.**

## Key Differences

Diameter refers to the length of a straight line passing through the center of a circle, connecting two points on its perimeter. This term is specific to circles and spheres, representing the longest possible distance between two points on the surface. On the other hand, width describes the extent of something from side to side, not necessarily passing through the center and is applicable to any shape or object, whether it's a rectangle, a river, or a piece of fabric.

Shumaila Saeed

Nov 08, 2023

While diameter is used exclusively in a geometric context to describe the distance across a circle, width is a more general term that can be applied to various situations. Diameter implies a specific route — through the center — whereas width is simply the measurement of one side to the other at the widest point, without any implication of a central path.

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Nov 08, 2023

In practical use, you would measure the diameter of a round table to find the size of a tablecloth, but you would measure the width of a closet to determine if a hanger can fit sideways. The diameter will always pass through the midpoint of an object, but the width could be the distance between any two points on opposite sides, not necessarily involving the midpoint.

Shumaila Saeed

Nov 08, 2023

It's important to note that in contexts involving circles, the width and diameter would technically be the same measurement, but the term "width" is rarely used. However, for objects with irregular shapes, the width at different points can vary, while a diameter is not applicable unless it describes a circle or sphere.

Shumaila Saeed

Nov 08, 2023

In summary, diameter is a term that relates to circles and spheres and always includes the central point of these shapes, while width is a universal term that refers to the broadness of an object and is used across various contexts without the need for a central reference point.

Shumaila Saeed

Nov 08, 2023

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## Comparison Chart

### Reference to Center

Always passes through the center.

Does not require passing through the center.

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Nov 08, 2023

### Measurement Context

Used in geometry for precise shapes.

Used generally for all objects.

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Nov 08, 2023

### Variability

Constant for a given circle or sphere.

Can vary on the same object.

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Nov 08, 2023

### Application Example

Measuring a wheel or a circular window.

Measuring the breadth of a bed or a door.

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Nov 08, 2023

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## Diameter and Width Definitions

#### Diameter

A chord that bisects a circle.

Cutting a round cake along its diameter gives two equal halves.

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Nov 08, 2023

#### Width

The horizontal dimension of an object.

The width of the smartphone makes it comfortable to hold.

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Nov 08, 2023

#### Diameter

The widest distance across a circle or sphere.

The diameter of the globe measures 12 inches.

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Nov 08, 2023

#### Width

The measurement or extent of something from side to side.

The width of the fabric was insufficient for the dress.

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Nov 08, 2023

#### Diameter

The longest straight line fitting inside the boundary of a circle.

The diameter defines the size of a circular saw blade.

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Nov 08, 2023

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#### Width

The state of being wide or broad.

The width of the bridge allows for two lanes of traffic.

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Nov 08, 2023

#### Diameter

A straight line segment passing through the center of a figure, especially of a circle or sphere, and terminating at the periphery.

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Oct 19, 2023

#### Width

A piece of something at its full extent from side to side.

A ribbon cut to a width of one inch will be used for the decoration.

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Nov 08, 2023

#### Width

The breadth of an object, often in relation to length.

The width of the swimming pool is less than its length.

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Nov 08, 2023

#### Diameter

A unit of magnification equal to the number of times an object's linear dimensions is increased by the magnifying apparatus.

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Oct 19, 2023

#### Width

Abbr. w The measurement of the extent of something from side to side.

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Oct 19, 2023

#### Diameter

(geometry) Any straight line between two points on the circumference of a circle that passes through the centre/center of the circle.

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Oct 19, 2023

#### Width

A piece of material measured along its smaller dimension or its crosswise grain, especially a piece of fabric measured from selvage to selvage.

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Oct 19, 2023

#### Diameter

(geometry) The maximum distance between any two points in a metric space

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Oct 19, 2023

#### Diameter

(graph theory) The maximum eccentricity over all vertices in a graph.

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Oct 19, 2023

#### Width

A piece of material measured along its smaller dimension, especially fabric.

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Oct 19, 2023

#### Diameter

Any right line passing through the center of a figure or body, as a circle, conic section, sphere, cube, etc., and terminated by the opposite boundaries; a straight line which bisects a system of parallel chords drawn in a curve.

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Oct 19, 2023

#### Width

(cricket) The horizontal distance between a batsman and the ball as it passes him.

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Oct 19, 2023

#### Diameter

The length of a straight line through the center of an object from side to side; width; thickness; as, the diameter of a tree or rock.

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Oct 19, 2023

#### Width

(sports) The use of all the width of the pitch, from one side to the other.

Manchester United like to play with width.

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Oct 19, 2023

#### Diameter

The distance through the lower part of the shaft of a column, used as a standard measure for all parts of the order. See Module.

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Oct 19, 2023

#### Width

The quality of being wide; extent from side to side; breadth; wideness; as, the width of cloth; the width of a door.

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Oct 19, 2023

#### Diameter

The length of a straight line passing through the center of a circle and connecting two points on the circumference

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Oct 19, 2023

#### Diameter

A straight line connecting the center of a circle with two points on its perimeter (or the center of a sphere with two points on its surface)

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Oct 19, 2023

#### Diameter

A straight line through the center of a circle.

The diameter of the wheel is 16 inches.

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Nov 08, 2023

#### Diameter

Twice the radius of a circle.

If the radius is 5 cm, the diameter is 10 cm.

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Nov 08, 2023

## Repeatedly Asked Queries

#### Can width be used for circles?

While less common, width can describe the broadness of a circle but isn't technically correct.

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Nov 08, 2023

#### What's the diameter of a rectangle?

A rectangle doesn't have a diameter; it has a length and width.

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Nov 08, 2023

#### Does diameter equal radius times two?

Yes, diameter is twice the length of the radius.

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Nov 08, 2023

#### Is diameter only used for circles?

Yes, diameter specifically refers to the distance across a circle through its center.

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Nov 08, 2023

#### Are width and breadth the same?

Yes, width and breadth are often used interchangeably to describe how broad something is.

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Nov 08, 2023

#### Can the width of an object change?

Yes, depending on where you measure it, especially if the object isn't a regular shape

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Nov 08, 2023

#### Can you find the diameter of a non-circular shape?

No, the concept of diameter applies specifically to circles and circular objects.

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Nov 08, 2023

#### Is the diameter of an ellipse the same as that of a circle?

No, the diameter of an ellipse is different from a circle and varies depending on the shape of the ellipse.

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Nov 08, 2023

#### How is the diameter of a circle calculated?

The diameter of a circle is calculated by multiplying the radius by 2.

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Nov 08, 2023

#### Can the diameter of a circle be negative?

No, the diameter of a circle is always a positive value.

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Nov 08, 2023

#### Is width always a horizontal measurement?

Width is usually a horizontal measurement, but in some contexts, it can refer to the distance between the top and bottom of an object.

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Nov 08, 2023

#### Can width be negative?

No, width is a non-negative measurement and cannot be negative.

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Nov 08, 2023

#### What is the relationship between diameter and radius?

The diameter is twice the length of the radius.

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Nov 08, 2023

#### What is the symbol used to represent diameter in mathematics?

The symbol for diameter is "⌀" (a slashed circle).

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Nov 08, 2023

#### What is the difference between width and depth?

Width refers to the measurement from side to side, while depth refers to the measurement from front to back.

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Nov 08, 2023

#### What is the definition of diameter?

Diameter is the distance across a circle, passing through its center.

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Nov 08, 2023

#### Is the diameter the same as the circumference of a circle?

No, the diameter is not the same as the circumference. The circumference is the distance around the circle.

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Nov 08, 2023

#### What is the definition of width?

Width refers to the measurement of how broad or wide an object or space is.

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Nov 08, 2023

#### How is the width of an object measured?

The width of an object is typically measured as the distance between its two widest points.

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Nov 08, 2023

#### In fashion, what does "width" refer to?

In fashion, width typically describes the measurement of clothing or footwear from side to side, such as the width of a shoe.

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Nov 08, 2023

#### Can width be measured in different units, such as inches or centimeters?

Yes, width can be measured in various units, depending on the context and the system of measurement used.

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Nov 08, 2023

#### Is width the same as breadth?

Yes, width and breadth are often used interchangeably and refer to the same measurement.

Shumaila Saeed

Nov 08, 2023

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About Author

Written by

Shumaila SaeedShumaila Saeed, an expert content creator with 6 years of experience, specializes in distilling complex topics into easily digestible comparisons, shining a light on the nuances that both inform and educate readers with clarity and accuracy.