# Block vs. Cube — What's the Difference?

By Tayyaba Rehman & Fiza Rafique — Updated on March 31, 2024
A block is a solid piece of material with a flat surface, used in construction or as a toy, whereas a cube is a specific type of block with six equal square faces and all angles at 90 degrees.

## Key Differences

A block is a broad term referring to any solid piece of material that can vary in shape, size, and composition, used for various purposes including construction, art, and play. Whereas a cube is a geometric shape with six equal square faces, often seen in mathematics, design, and games. This distinction highlights the cube as a subset of blocks, defined by its precise geometric properties.
Blocks can be made from different materials such as wood, metal, stone, or plastic, depending on their intended use. They can be structural components in construction, elements in toys like building blocks, or functional units in sculptures. On the other hand, cubes, while they can also be made from various materials, are primarily recognized for their equal-sided square faces and serve as mathematical models, puzzle pieces, and educational tools.
The shape and size of blocks are variable; they can be rectangular, cylindrical, or irregularly shaped, with sizes ranging from tiny toy blocks to large concrete masonry units. In contrast, the dimensions of a cube are strictly defined by its equal sides and 90-degree angles, making it a perfect example of symmetry and balance in three-dimensional space.
Blocks serve multiple purposes, from fundamental construction elements like cinder blocks that support structures, to educational toys that aid in learning through play. Cubes, due to their specific shape, are often used in more specialized contexts, such as in Rubik’s Cubes which challenge spatial reasoning, or as dice in games, where they determine gameplay outcomes.
In terms of physical properties, the surface area and volume of a block can vary greatly based on its dimensions. However, a cube’s surface area and volume are determined by a single measurement: the length of one of its edges, showcasing a unique aspect of geometric simplicity and mathematical elegance.

## Comparison Chart

### Shape

Varies (rectangular, cylindrical, etc.)
Always a hexahedron with six equal square faces

### Dimensions

Variable dimensions
All sides are of equal length

### Uses

Construction, toys, art, etc.
Mathematics, puzzles, educational tools, games, etc.

### Material

Wood, metal, stone, plastic, etc.
Any material, as long as the shape is preserved

### Mathematical Properties

Less specific, depends on the type of block
Strict geometric properties: all angles are 90 degrees

## Compare with Definitions

#### Block

A solid piece of hard material used for building.
The limestone blocks were used to construct the ancient pyramid.

#### Cube

A three-dimensional shape with six square faces, all sides equal.
The artist used a glass cube as part of the installation.

#### Block

A grouping or set of similar items.
She booked a block of tickets for the entire family.

#### Cube

To cut food or other substances into cube shapes.
The recipe called for the carrots to be cubed.

#### Block

A child’s toy made from wood or plastic for assembling structures.
She spent hours building a castle with colorful plastic blocks.

#### Cube

A game or puzzle in the shape of a cube.
Solving the Rubik’s Cube can be a challenging task.

#### Block

An obstruction or a barrier.

#### Cube

A piece of something, such as sugar, shaped like a cube.
She added two sugar cubes to her tea.

#### Block

A shape of any form, often larger or clumsily shaped.
He carved a sculpture from a large block of marble.

#### Cube

Mathematics: a number multiplied by its square.
The cube of 3 is 27.

#### Block

A solid piece of a hard substance, such as wood, having one or more flat sides.

#### Cube

In geometry, a cube is a three-dimensional solid object bounded by six square faces, facets or sides, with three meeting at each vertex. The cube is the only regular hexahedron and is one of the five Platonic solids.

#### Block

Such a piece used as a construction member or as a support.

#### Cube

(Mathematics) A regular solid having six congruent square faces.

#### Block

Such a piece upon which chopping or cutting is done
A butcher's block.

#### Cube

Something having the general shape of a cube
A cube of sugar.

#### Block

Such a piece upon which persons are beheaded.

#### Cube

A cubicle, used for work or study.

#### Block

One of a set of small wooden or plastic pieces, such as a cube, bar, or cylinder, used as a building toy.

#### Cube

(Mathematics) The third power of a number or quantity.

#### Block

(Printing) A large amount of text.

#### Cube

Cubes(Slang) Cubic inches. Used especially of an internal combustion engine.

#### Block

(Sports) A starting block.

#### Cube

(Mathematics) To raise (a quantity or number) to the third power.

#### Block

A stand from which articles are displayed and sold at an auction
Many priceless antiques went on the block.

#### Cube

To determine the cubic contents of.

#### Block

A mold or form on which an item is shaped or displayed
A hat block.

#### Cube

To form or cut into cubes
The cook cubed some potatoes.

#### Block

A substance, such as wood or stone, that has been prepared for engraving.

#### Cube

To tenderize (meat) by breaking the fibers with superficial cuts in a pattern of squares.

#### Block

A pulley or a system of pulleys set in a casing.

#### Cube

(geometry) A regular polyhedron having six identical square faces.

An engine block.

#### Cube

Any object more or less in the form of a cube.
A sugar cube
A stock cube

A bloc.

#### Cube

(mathematics) The third power of a number, value, term or expression.
The cube of 2 is 8

#### Block

A set of like items, such as shares of stock, sold or handled as a unit.

#### Cube

(computing) A data structure consisting of a three-dimensional array; a data cube

#### Block

A group of four or more unseparated postage stamps forming a rectangle.

#### Cube

A Rubik's cube style puzzle, not necessarily in the shape of a cube

#### Block

(Canadian) A group of townships in an unsurveyed area.

#### Cube

A cubicle, especially one of those found in offices.
My co-worker annoys me by throwing things over the walls of my cube.

#### Block

A usually rectangular section of a city or town bounded on each side by consecutive streets.

#### Cube

To raise to the third power; to determine the result of multiplying by itself twice.
Three cubed can be written as 33, and equals twenty-seven.

#### Block

A segment of a street bounded by consecutive cross streets and including its buildings and inhabitants.

#### Cube

(transitive) To form into the shape of a cube.

#### Block

A large building divided into separate units, such as apartments.

#### Cube

(transitive) To cut into cubes.
Cube the ham right after adding the curry to the rice.

#### Block

A length of railroad track controlled by signals.

#### Cube

(intransitive) To use a Rubik's cube.
He likes to cube now and then.

#### Block

Something that obstructs; an obstacle
The disabled car formed a block in traffic.

#### Cube

A regular solid body, with six equal square sides.

#### Block

(Sports) An act of bodily obstruction, as of a player or the ball.

#### Cube

The product obtained by taking a number or quantity three times as a factor; as, 4x4=16, and 16x4=64, the cube of 4.

#### Block

(Football) An act of legally using one's body to obstruct or move a defensive player so that a player in possession of the ball may advance downfield, pass, or otherwise execute an offensive play.

#### Cube

To raise to the third power; to obtain the cube of.

#### Block

(Medicine) Interruption or obstruction of a physiological function
Nerve block.

#### Cube

A three-dimensional shape with six square or rectangular sides

#### Block

(Psychology) A sudden cessation of speech or a thought process without an immediate observable cause, sometimes considered a consequence of repression. Also called mental block.

#### Cube

A hexahedron with six equal squares as faces

#### Block

Threatened to knock my block off.

#### Cube

The product of three equal terms

#### Block

To stop or impede the passage of or movement through; obstruct
Block traffic.
Mud that blocked the pipe.

#### Cube

Any of several tropical American woody plants of the genus Lonchocarpus whose roots are used locally as a fish poison and commercially as a source of rotenone

#### Block

To prevent from happening, succeeding, or progressing
Blocked every attempt to reform the rules.

#### Cube

A block in the (approximate) shape of a cube

#### Block

To shut out from view
A curtain blocking the stage.

#### Cube

Raise to the third power

#### Block

To stop the passage of (a motion or bill) in a legislative assembly.

Cut into cubes;
Cube the cheese

#### Block

(Sports) To prevent or slow the movement of (an opponent) by using one's body, as by making a block in football.

#### Block

(Sports) To stop or deflect (a ball or puck) by using one's body.

#### Block

(Medicine) To interrupt or obstruct the functioning of (a physiological process), especially by the use of drugs.

#### Block

(Psychology) To fail to remember.

#### Block

To support, strengthen, or retain in place by means of a block.

#### Block

To shape, mold, or form with or on a block
Block a hat.

#### Block

To indicate broadly without great detail; sketch. Often used with out
Block out a plan of action.
Block out stage movements.

#### Block

To run (trains) on a block system.

#### Block

To obstruct the movement of an opponent by using one's body.

#### Block

To stop or deflect a ball or puck by using one's body.

#### Block

To suffer a mental block. Often used with on
I blocked on his name.

#### Block

A substantial, often approximately cuboid, piece of any substance.
A block of ice, a block of stone

#### Block

A chopping block: a cuboid base for cutting or beheading.
Anne Boleyn placed her head on the block and awaited her execution.

#### Block

A wig block: a simplified head model upon which wigs are worn.

#### Block

A mould on which hats, bonnets, etc., are shaped.

#### Block

A piece of hard wood on which a stereotype or electrotype plate is mounted.

#### Block

A case or frame housing one or more sheaves (pulleys), used with ropes to increase or redirect force, for example as part of lifting gear or a sailing ship's rigging. See also block and tackle.

#### Block

A section of split logs used as fuel.

#### Block

A set of sheets (of paper) joined together at one end, forming a cuboid shape.
A block of 100 tickets

#### Block

(falconry) The perch on which a bird of prey is kept.

#### Block

A physical area or extent of something, often rectangular or approximately rectangular.
A block of text, a block of colour, a block of land

#### Block

(philately) A joined group of four (or in some cases nine) postage stamps, forming a roughly square shape.

#### Block

(viticulture) A discrete group of vines in a vineyard, often distinguished from others by variety, clone, canopy training method, irrigation infrastructure, or some combination thereof.

#### Block

A logical extent or region; a grouping or apportionment of like things treated together as a unit.
A block of data, a block of seven days, a block reservation

#### Block

(computing) A logical data storage unit containing one or more physical sectors (see cluster).

#### Block

(programming) A region of code in a program that acts as a single unit, such as a function or loop.

#### Block

(cryptography) A fixed-length group of bits making up part of a message.

#### Block

(chemistry) A portion of a macromolecule, comprising many units, that has at least one feature not present in adjacent portions.

#### Block

(rail) A section of a railroad where the block system is used.

#### Block

(computing) A contiguous range of Unicode code points used to encode characters of a specific type; can be of any size evenly divisible by 16, up to 65,536 (a full plane).
The "Specials" block comprises the sixteen codepoints from U+FFF0 through U+FFFF.

#### Block

A contiguous group of urban lots of property, typically several acres in extent, not crossed by public streets.
I'm going for a walk around the block.

#### Block

The distance from one street to another in a city or suburb that is built (approximately) to a grid pattern.
The place you are looking for is two long blocks east and one short block north.

#### Block

A roughly cuboid building.
A block of flats, a tower block, an office block, a toilet block, a shower block

A cellblock.

#### Block

Something that prevents something from passing.
There's a block in the pipe that means the water can't get through.

#### Block

Interference or obstruction of cognitive processes.
A mental block
Writer's block

#### Block

(sports) An action to interfere with the movement of an opposing player or of the object of play (ball, puck).

#### Block

A temporary or permanent ban that prevents access to an online account or service, or connection to or from a designated telephone number, IP address, or similar.
The Wiktionary page-blanking vandal was hit with an indefinite block.
I've put a block on calls from that number.

#### Block

(UK) Solitary confinement.

#### Block

(obsolete) A blockhead; a stupid fellow; a dolt.

#### Block

(transitive) To fill or obstruct (something) so that it is not possible to pass.
The pipe was blocked by leaves.
You're blocking the road – I can't get through!

#### Block

(transitive) To prevent (something or someone) from passing.
A broken-down car is blocking the traffic.

#### Block

(transitive) To prevent (something from happening or someone from doing something).
His plan to take over the business was blocked by the boss.

#### Block

To impede (an opponent or opponent's play).
He blocked the basketball player's shot.
The offensive linemen tried to block the blitz.

#### Block

To specify the positions and movements of the actors for (a section of a play or film).
It was very difficult to block this scene convincingly.

#### Block

To hit with a block.

#### Block

To play a block shot.

#### Block

(transitive) To bar (someone undesirable) from connecting via telephone, instant messaging, etc., or from accessing an online account or service, or similar.
I tried to send you a message, but you've blocked me!
The user who started the edit war was blocked for a day to cool off.

#### Block

(transitive) To bar (a message or communication), or bar connection with (an online account or service, a designated telephone number, IP address, etc.).
They've blocked all calls to international numbers.
Most Internet services have been blocked.

#### Block

To wait for some condition to become true.
When the condition expression is false, the thread blocks on the condition variable.

#### Block

(transitive) To stretch or mould (a knitted item, a hat, etc.) into the desired shape.
I blocked the mittens by wetting them and pinning them to a shaped piece of cardboard.

#### Block

(transitive) To shape or sketch out roughly.
When drawing a scene, first block the main features, and then fill in the detail.

#### Block

To knock (a person's hat) down over their eyes.

#### Block

A piece of wood more or less bulky; a solid mass of wood, stone, etc., usually with one or more plane, or approximately plane, faces; as, a block on which a butcher chops his meat; a block by which to mount a horse; children's playing blocks, etc.
Now all our neighbors' chimneys smoke,And Christmas blocks are burning.
All her labor was but as a blockLeft in the quarry.

#### Block

The solid piece of wood on which condemned persons lay their necks when they are beheaded.
Noble heads which have been brought to the block.

#### Block

The wooden mold on which hats, bonnets, etc., are shaped.
He wears his faith but as the fashion of his hat; it ever changes with the next block.

#### Block

A large or long building divided into separate houses or shops, or a number of houses or shops built in contact with each other so as to form one building; a row of houses or shops.

#### Block

A square, or portion of a city inclosed by streets, whether occupied by buildings or not.
The new city was laid out in rectangular blocks, each block containing thirty building lots. Such an average block, comprising 282 houses and covering nine acres of ground, exists in Oxford Street.

#### Block

A grooved pulley or sheave incased in a frame or shell which is provided with a hook, eye, or strap, by which it may be attached to an object. It is used to change the direction of motion, as in raising a heavy object that can not be conveniently reached, and also, when two or more such sheaves are compounded, to change the rate of motion, or to exert increased force; - used especially in the rigging of ships, and in tackles.

#### Block

The perch on which a bird of prey is kept.

#### Block

Any obstruction, or cause of obstruction; a stop; a hindrance; an obstacle; - also called blockage; as, a block in the way; a block in an artery; a block in a nerve; a block in a biochemical pathway.

#### Block

A piece of box or other wood for engravers' work.

#### Block

A piece of hard wood (as mahogany or cherry) on which a stereotype or electrotype plate is mounted to make it type high.

#### Block

A blockhead; a stupid fellow; a dolt.
What a block art thou !

#### Block

A section of a railroad where the block system is used. See Block system, below.

#### Block

In Australia, one of the large lots into which public land, when opened to settlers, is divided by the government surveyors.

#### Block

The position of a player or bat when guarding the wicket.

#### Block

A number of individual items sold as a unit; as, a block of airline ticketes; a block of hotel rooms; a block of stock.

#### Block

The length of one side of a city block{5}, traversed along any side; as, to walk three blocks ahead and turn left at the corner.

#### Block

A halt in a mental process, especially one due to stress, memory lapse, confusion, etc.; as, a writer's block; to have a block in remembering a name.

#### Block

A quantity of binary-encoded information transferred, or stored, as a unit to, from, or on a data storage device; as, to divide a disk into 512-byte blocks.

#### Block

A number of locations in a random-access memory allocated to storage of specific data; as, to allocate a block of 1024 bytes for the stack.

#### Block

To obstruct so as to prevent passage or progress; to prevent passage from, through, or into, by obstructing the way; - used both of persons and things; - often followed by up; as, to block up a road or harbor; to block an entrance.
With moles . . . would block the port.
A city . . . besieged and blocked about.

#### Block

To secure or support by means of blocks; to secure, as two boards at their angles of intersection, by pieces of wood glued to each.

#### Block

To shape on, or stamp with, a block; as, to block a hat.

#### Block

To cause (any activity) to halt by creating an obstruction; as, to block a nerve impulse; to block a biochemical reaction with a drug.

#### Block

A solid piece of something (usually having flat rectangular sides);
The pyramids were built with large stone blocks

#### Block

A rectangular area in a city surrounded by streets and usually containing several buildings;
He lives in the next block

#### Block

A three-dimensional shape with six square or rectangular sides

#### Block

A number or quantity of related things dealt with as a unit;
He reserved a large block of seats
He held a large block of the company's stock

#### Block

Housing in a large building that is divided into separate units;
There is a block of classrooms in the west wing

#### Block

(computer science) a sector or group of sectors that function as the smallest data unit permitted;
Since blocks are often defined as a single sector, the terms `block' and `sector' are sometimes used interchangeably

#### Block

An inability to remember or think of something you normally can do; often caused by emotional tension;
I knew his name perfectly well but I had a temporary block

#### Block

A simple machine consisting of a wheel with a groove in which a rope can run to change the direction or point of application of a force applied to the rope

#### Block

A metal casting containing the cylinders and cooling ducts of an engine;
The engine had to be replaced because the block was cracked

#### Block

An obstruction in a pipe or tube;
We had to call a plumber to clear out the blockage in the drainpipe

#### Block

A platform from which an auctioneer sells;
They put their paintings on the block

#### Block

(American football) the act of obstructing someone's path with your body;
He threw a rolling block into the line backer

#### Block

Render unsuitable for passage;
Block the way

#### Block

Hinder or prevent the progress or accomplishment of;
His brother blocked him at every turn

#### Block

Stop from happening or developing;
Block his election
Halt the process

#### Block

Interfere with or prevent the reception of signals;
Jam the Voice of America
Block the signals emitted by this station

#### Block

Run on a block system;
Block trains

#### Block

Interrupt the normal function of by means of anesthesia;
Block a nerve
Block a muscle

#### Block

Shut out from view or get in the way so as to hide from sight;
The thick curtain blocked the action on the stage
The trees obstruct my view of the mountains

#### Block

Stamp or emboss a title or design on a book with a block;
Block the book cover

#### Block

Obstruct;
My nose is all stuffed
Her arteries are blocked

#### Block

Block passage through;
Obstruct the path

#### Block

Support, secure, or raise with a block;
Block a plate for printing
Block the wheels of a car

#### Block

Impede the movement of (an opponent or a ball);
Block an attack

#### Block

Be unable to remember;
I'm drawing a blank
You are blocking the name of your first wife!

#### Block

Shape by using a block;
Block a hat
Block a garment

#### Block

Shape into a block or blocks;
Block the graphs so one can see the results clearly

#### Block

Prohibit the conversion or use of (assets);
Blocked funds
Freeze the assets of this hostile government

## Common Curiosities

#### What makes a cube unique among blocks?

Its six faces are all equal squares, and every internal angle is a right angle, making it a special case of a block.

#### Can a cube be a block?

Yes, a cube is a specific type of block characterized by its geometric properties.

#### What materials are cubes made of?

Cubes can be made of any material, as long as they maintain their geometric shape.

#### What is a block?

A block is a solid piece of material, possibly of various shapes and sizes, used for construction, play, or as a functional object.

#### What is a cube?

A cube is a three-dimensional geometric figure with six equal square faces and all angles at 90 degrees.

#### How is the size of a block determined?

The size of a block can vary greatly and is determined by its intended use, from small toy blocks to large building materials.

#### What is an example of a block in construction?

Cinder blocks used in building foundations are common examples.

#### How are blocks used?

Blocks are used in construction, as children’s toys, in art, and as functional objects in various settings.

#### Are all blocks cubes?

No, blocks come in various shapes and sizes, and only those with six equal square faces are cubes.

#### What materials are blocks made of?

Blocks can be made from wood, metal, stone, plastic, and other materials, depending on their use.

#### Why are cubes often used in educational contexts?

Their geometric simplicity makes them excellent tools for teaching mathematical concepts and spatial reasoning.

#### How is the size of a cube determined?

The size of a cube is determined by the length of one of its edges, since all sides are equal.

#### How does the shape of a block affect its use?

The shape, along with the material, determines the block’s structural integrity and suitability for specific applications.

#### What is an example of a cube used in games?

The Rubik’s Cube, a puzzle game, is a popular example.

#### Can the shape of a cube change and still be called a cube?

No, to be considered a cube, it must retain its strict geometric properties of having six equal square faces and all angles at 90 degrees.

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