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Cubic vs. Cubical — What's the Difference?

Edited by Tayyaba Rehman — By Maham Liaqat — Updated on May 9, 2024
Cubic refers to something shaped like a cube or involving the third power, while cubical means resembling a cube or having a cube-like shape.
Cubic vs. Cubical — What's the Difference?

Difference Between Cubic and Cubical


Key Differences

Cubic is a term often used in mathematics and geometry, where it relates to the third power of a number or volume measurement. It also describes objects precisely in the shape of a cube. Cubical, on the other hand, pertains to objects that resemble a cube in shape but might not have precise measurements, like cubical structures or rooms.
Cubic applies to exact cubic measurements, like "cubic meters," whereas cubical is more about shape, such as cubical storage units. Cubic may also relate to polynomial equations of the third degree, while cubical lacks this mathematical association.
When considering units of measurement, cubic is specific, like cubic feet or cubic inches, while cubical might describe a similar space that is cube-like but not measured strictly.
Cubic appears more frequently in scientific, engineering, and mathematical contexts due to its precision. Cubical finds more common usage in everyday language and architecture, describing rooms or containers resembling a cube.

Comparison Chart


Precisely shaped like a cube
Resembles a cube in general shape

Mathematical Use

Relating to the third power
No direct mathematical association


Used with specific measurements
Describes cube-like spaces or structures


Used for volumetric calculations
Less frequent usage

Common Usage

Scientific, technical contexts
Architectural, everyday language

Compare with Definitions


Refers to the shape of a cube.
The object had a cubic shape, perfect for the art installation.


Refers to a general cube-like shape.
The building has a cubical design.


Describes measurements in three dimensions.
The volume of the box is 3 cubic feet.


Indicates a shape or object approximating a cube.
The storage boxes were cubical.


In chemistry, refers to cubic crystal systems.
Sodium chloride forms a cubic lattice structure.


Suggests a three-dimensional, somewhat square-like structure.
The cubical bookshelf was perfect for small apartments.


Relates to a polynomial equation of degree three.
A cubic equation can have up to three roots.


Pertains to cubicles, which are modular office spaces.
The employees sat in their cubical spaces.


Denotes a unit of measure, like cubic meters or cubic centimeters.
The tank can hold 50 cubic meters of water.


Describes rooms or spaces resembling a cube.
The office features cubical workspaces.


Having the shape of a cube.




Shaped similar to a cube.


Of or relating to volume.


Having three dimensions.


Of or pertaining to a cube; cubic.


Abbr. c or cu. Having a volume equal to a cube whose edge is of a stated length
A cubic foot.


Shaped like a cube


(Mathematics) Of the third power, order, or degree.


Of or relating to a crystalline form that has three equal axes at right angles to each other; isometric.


A cubic expression, curve, or equation.


(geometry) Used in the names of units of volume formed by multiplying a unit of length by itself twice.
Cubic foot


(algebraic geometry) Of a class of polynomial of the form ax^3 + bx^2 + cx + d Category:en:Polynomials


(crystallography) Having three equal axes and all angles 90°.
Cubic cleavage


(algebraic geometry) A cubic curve. Category:en:Curves


Having the form or properties of a cube; contained, or capable of being contained, in a cube.


Isometric or monometric; as, cubic cleavage. See Crystallization.


A curve of the third degree.


Involving two dimensions

Common Curiosities

Is cubical a commonly used term?

Cubical is often used in architecture and everyday language to describe cube-like shapes or structures.

What does cubic mean?

Cubic refers to anything shaped like a cube or related to the third power in math.

What does cubical mean?

Cubical describes anything generally resembling a cube in shape.

Can cubic and cubical be used interchangeably?

No, cubic is specific to precise shapes and measurements, while cubical is broader and relates to resemblance.

Does cubical always refer to cubicle workspaces?

No, cubical can describe any object that resembles a cube, not just office cubicles.

Are cubical objects perfectly cube-shaped?

Not necessarily; cubical objects generally resemble a cube but might not have perfectly equal dimensions.

Is cubic always related to math?

No, cubic can also describe objects that are precisely cube-shaped or related to three-dimensional volume.

Are cubical shapes common in everyday life?

Yes, cubical shapes like boxes, storage units, and rooms are commonly encountered.

Is cubic used for measuring volume?

Yes, "cubic" is used to measure volume, such as cubic meters or cubic feet.

What is a cubic equation?

A cubic equation is a polynomial equation where the highest exponent of the variable is three.

Is "cubic" an adjective or noun?

Cubic is an adjective when describing shapes or measurements, but it can be a noun when referring to cubic equations.

Does cubical have specific dimensions?

Cubical doesn't refer to specific dimensions but rather suggests a cube-like shape.

Is cubic used in geometry?

Yes, cubic is used to describe objects precisely in the shape of a cube and for measurements involving three dimensions.

Is cubic limited to a specific scientific field?

No, it's used in mathematics, chemistry, engineering, and other fields involving measurements or geometric shapes.

Can cubical objects have rounded edges?

Yes, cubical objects may not be perfectly cubic and can have rounded edges while still resembling a cube in shape.

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Author Spotlight

Written by
Maham Liaqat
Tayyaba Rehman is a distinguished writer, currently serving as a primary contributor to As a researcher in semantics and etymology, Tayyaba's passion for the complexity of languages and their distinctions has found a perfect home on the platform. Tayyaba delves into the intricacies of language, distinguishing between commonly confused words and phrases, thereby providing clarity for readers worldwide.

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