# Area vs. Size — What's the Difference?

By Maham Liaqat & Urooj Arif — Updated on April 2, 2024
Area refers to the measurement of a two-dimensional space, while size is a general term that describes the overall dimensions or extent of an object.

## Key Differences

The area is specifically used to quantify the space within the boundaries of a two-dimensional figure, calculated in square units (e.g., square meters). On the other hand, size can refer to the dimensions of any object, whether it is two-dimensional or three-dimensional, and is not limited to a specific unit of measure.
While the area is a term often used in the context of geometry, land measurement, or surface coverage, size is a more versatile term that can refer to the volume of a three-dimensional object, the length of an object, or even abstract concepts like the size of a population.
The calculation of area involves specific formulas depending on the shape (e.g., length × width for rectangles), whereas determining the size of an object might involve measurements of length, width, height, or diameter, depending on the object’s shape and the relevant dimensions.
In terms of usage, when one speaks about the area, it is clear that they are referring to the extent of a surface. Size, however, requires context to understand whether it refers to length, volume, weight, or another dimension.
Despite these differences, area and size are related concepts; the area can be considered a component of size when describing flat surfaces or components of three-dimensional objects. For example, the size of a park might be described by its area in square kilometers.

## Comparison Chart

### Definition

Measurement of a two-dimensional space.
General term for overall dimensions.

### Units

Square units (e.g., square meters).
Varied (e.g., meters, cubic meters, etc.).

### Application

Specific to two-dimensional spaces.
Applies to one, two, or three dimensions.

### Calculation

Formulas based on shape.
Depends on dimensional relevance.

### Contextual Use

Geometry, land measurement.

## Compare with Definitions

#### Area

Two-dimensional space.
The area of the rectangular garden is 100 square meters.

#### Size

Overall dimensions.
The size of the new smartphone is 146.7 x 71.5 x 7.4 mm.

#### Area

Geometric calculation.
To find the area of a circle, multiply the square of the radius by π.

#### Size

Volume measurement.
The size of the swimming pool is 500 cubic meters.

#### Area

Surface extent.
A soccer field's area must be within specific limits for official games.

#### Size

Length or extent.
The size of the bridge makes it one of the longest in the world.

#### Area

Land measurement.
The new housing development covers an area of 5 square kilometers.

#### Size

The car's compact size makes it perfect for city driving.

#### Area

Unit specific.
She bought a rug with an area of 2 square yards for her living room.

#### Size

Abstract dimension.
The size of the audience was impressive for a weekday.

#### Area

Area is the quantity that expresses the extent of a two-dimensional region, shape, or planar lamina, in the plane. Surface area is its analog on the two-dimensional surface of a three-dimensional object.

#### Size

Size in general is the magnitude or dimensions of a thing. More specifically, geometrical size (or spatial size) can refer to linear dimensions (length, width, height, diameter, perimeter), area, or volume.

#### Area

A roughly bounded part of the space on a surface; a region:a farming area; the New York area.

#### Size

The relative extent of something; a thing's overall dimensions or magnitude; how big something is
A forest the size of Wales
Firms of all sizes
The schools varied in size

#### Area

A surface, especially an open, unoccupied piece of ground:a landing area; a playing area.

#### Size

Each of the classes, typically numbered, into which garments or other articles are divided according to how large they are
I can never find anything in my size

#### Area

A distinct part or section, as of a building, set aside for a specific function:a storage area in the basement.

#### Size

A gelatinous solution used in glazing paper, stiffening textiles, and preparing plastered walls for decoration.

#### Area

A division of experience, activity, or knowledge; a field:studies in the area of finance; a job in the health-care area.

#### Size

Alter or sort in terms of size or according to size
Twist drills are sized in millimetres

#### Area

An open, sunken space next to a building; an areaway.

#### Size

Estimate or measure something's dimensions
She was trying to size up a room with a tape measure

#### Area

Abbr. AThe extent of a planar region or of the surface of a solid measured in square units.

#### Size

Treat with size to glaze or stiffen
Paper will adhere to sized walls better

#### Area

(mathematics) A measure of the extent of a surface; it is measured in square units.

#### Size

Having a specified size; sized
Marble-size chunks of hail

#### Area

A particular geographic region.

#### Size

The physical dimensions, proportions, magnitude, or extent of an object.

#### Area

Any particular extent of surface, especially an empty or unused extent.
The photo is a little dark in that area.

#### Size

Any of a series of graduated categories of dimension whereby manufactured articles, such as shoes and clothing, are classified.

#### Area

The extent, scope, or range of an object or concept.
The plans are a bit vague in that area.

#### Size

Considerable extent, amount, or dimensions
A debt of enormous size.

#### Area

(British) An open space, below ground level, giving access to the basement of a house, and typically separated from the pavement by railings.

#### Size

Relative amount or number, as of population or contents
What size is Cleveland?.

#### Area

(soccer) Penalty box; penalty area.

#### Size

Character, value, or status with reference to relative importance or the capacity to meet given requirements
Try this proposal on for size.

#### Area

(slang) Genitals.

#### Size

The actual state of affairs
That's about the size of the situation.

#### Area

Any plane surface, as of the floor of a room or church, or of the ground within an inclosure; an open space in a building.
The Alban lake . . . looks like the area of some vast amphitheater.

#### Size

Any of several gelatinous or glutinous substances usually made from glue, wax, or clay and used as a glaze or filler for porous materials such as paper, cloth, or wall surfaces.

#### Area

The inclosed space on which a building stands.

#### Size

To arrange, classify, or distribute according to size.

#### Area

The sunken space or court, giving ingress and affording light to the basement of a building.

#### Size

To make, cut, or shape to a required size.

#### Area

An extent of surface; a tract of the earth's surface; a region; as, vast uncultivated areas.

#### Size

To treat or coat with size or a similar substance.

#### Area

The superficial contents of any figure; the surface included within any given lines; superficial extent; as, the area of a square or a triangle.

#### Size

Sized. Often used in combination
Bite-size appetizers.
An economy-size package.

#### Area

A spot or small marked space; as, the germinative area.

An assize.

#### Area

Extent; scope; range; as, a wide area of thought.
The largest area of human history and man's common nature.

#### Size

(obsolete) A regulation determining the amount of money paid in fees, taxes etc.

#### Area

A particular geographical region of indefinite boundary (usually serving some special purpose or distinguished by its people or culture or geography);
It was a mountainous area
Bible country

#### Size

(obsolete) A fixed standard for the magnitude, quality, quantity etc. of goods, especially food and drink.

#### Area

A particular environment or walk of life;
His social sphere is limited
It was a closed area of employment
He's out of my orbit

#### Size

The dimensions or magnitude of a thing; how big something is.
The size of the building seemed to have increased since I was last there.

#### Area

A subject of study;
It was his area of specialization
Areas of interest include...

#### Size

(obsolete) A regulation, piece of ordinance.

#### Area

A part of a structure having some specific characteristic or function;
The spacious cooking area provided plenty of room for servants

#### Size

A specific set of dimensions for a manufactured article, especially clothing.
I don't think we have the red one in your size.

#### Area

A part of an animal that has a special function or is supplied by a given artery or nerve;
In the abdominal region

#### Size

(graph theory) A number of edges in a graph.

#### Area

The extent of a 2-dimensional surface enclosed within a boundary;
The area of a rectangle
It was about 500 square feet in area

#### Size

Degree of rank, ability, character, etc.

#### Size

An instrument consisting of a number of perforated gauges fastened together at one end by a rivet, used for measuring the size of pearls

#### Size

A thin, weak glue used as primer for paper or canvas intended to be painted upon.

Wallpaper paste.

#### Size

Any viscous substance, such as gilder's varnish.

#### Size

(transitive) To adjust the size of; to make a certain size.

#### Size

(transitive) To classify or arrange by size.

#### Size

(military) To take the height of men, in order to place them in the ranks according to their stature.

#### Size

(mining) To sift (pieces of ore or metal) in order to separate the finer from the coarser parts.

#### Size

To approximate the dimensions, estimate the size of.

#### Size

(intransitive) To take a greater size; to increase in size.

#### Size

To order food or drink from the buttery; hence, to enter a score, as upon the buttery book.

#### Size

To swell; to increase the bulk of.

#### Size

(transitive) To apply glue or other primer to a surface which is to be painted.

Six.

#### Size

A thin, weak glue used in various trades, as in painting, bookbinding, paper making, etc.

#### Size

Any viscous substance, as gilder's varnish.

#### Size

A settled quantity or allowance. See Assize.

#### Size

An allowance of food and drink from the buttery, aside from the regular dinner at commons; - corresponding to battel at Oxford.

#### Size

Extent of superficies or volume; bulk; bigness; magnitude; as, the size of a tree or of a mast; the size of a ship or of a rock.

#### Size

Figurative bulk; condition as to rank, ability, character, etc.; as, the office demands a man of larger size.
Men of a less size and quality.
The middling or lower size of people.

#### Size

A conventional relative measure of dimension, as for shoes, gloves, and other articles made up for sale.

#### Size

An instrument consisting of a number of perforated gauges fastened together at one end by a rivet, - used for ascertaining the size of pearls.

#### Size

To cover with size; to prepare with size.

#### Size

To fix the standard of.

#### Size

To adjust or arrange according to size or bulk.

#### Size

To swell; to increase the bulk of.

#### Size

To bring or adjust anything exactly to a required dimension, as by cutting.
We had to size up our fellow legislators.

#### Size

To take greater size; to increase in size.
Our desires give them fashion, and so,As they wax lesser, fall, as they size, grow.

#### Size

To order food or drink from the buttery; hence, to enter a score, as upon the buttery book.

#### Size

The physical magnitude of something (how big it is);
A wolf is about the size of a large dog

#### Size

The property resulting from being one of a series of graduated measurements (as of clothing);
He wears a size 13 shoe

#### Size

Any glutinous material used to fill pores in surfaces or to stiffen fabrics;
Size gives body to a fabric

#### Size

The actual state of affairs;
That's the size of the situation
She hates me, that's about the size of it

#### Size

A large magnitude;
He blanched when he saw the size of the bill
The only city of any size in that area

#### Size

Cover or stiffen or glaze a porous material with size or sizing (a glutinous substance)

#### Size

Sort according to size

#### Size

Make to a size; bring to a suitable size

#### Size

(used in combination) sized;
The economy-size package
Average-size house

## Common Curiosities

#### What determines an object's size?

An object's size is determined by its dimensions, which can include length, width, height, or volume, depending on the context.

#### Is area always measured in square units?

Yes, area is specifically measured in square units to account for the two-dimensional space it represents.

#### Why is it important to know the size of an object?

Knowing the size of an object is important for purposes like fitting, construction, capacity planning, and efficient design.

#### Does the concept of size apply to abstract ideas?

Yes, size can refer to abstract concepts, such as the size of a population or an economy, indicating its extent or magnitude.

#### Can size include area?

Yes, when referring to two-dimensional objects, size can be described in terms of area.

#### How do you measure the area of an irregular shape?

The area of an irregular shape can be calculated using various methods, including approximation, dividing the shape into regular sections, or using calculus for more complex shapes.

#### How do dimensions relate to size?

Dimensions are measurements in one or more directions that define the size of an object.

#### What is the difference between area and square footage?

Square footage is a specific measure of area used primarily in the United States, referring to the number of square feet within a given space.

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

Yes, the size of an object can change due to factors like temperature, pressure, or physical alterations.

#### Is volume a type of size?

Yes, volume is a measure of size that quantifies the three-dimensional space an object occupies.

#### Can the size of a space be zero?

In practical terms, the size of a physical object cannot be zero, as it must occupy some amount of space, whether two-dimensional or three-dimensional.

#### What unit is used for measuring the area of land?

Square meters (m²) or square kilometers (km²) are commonly used for measuring land area, depending on the scale.

#### Is understanding area important in everyday life?

Yes, understanding area is crucial for various daily tasks and decisions, such as home layout planning, buying land, or installing solar panels.

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

The area of a circle is calculated as π times the square of its radius (A=πr²).

#### Why might someone need to calculate the area of a room?

Calculating the area of a room is necessary for tasks like flooring installation, heating/cooling needs assessment, or furniture arrangement.

Share via Social Media
Embed This Content
Embed Code
Share Directly via Messenger