What Is a Compound Shape in Math?

In math, a compound shape consists of two or more simple shapes, such as triangles, squares, circles and rectangles. Another name for a compound shape is a composite shape. An example of this concept is a triangle placed on top of a square.

In geometry, composite shapes are commonly used in problems that deal with finding areas. Solving these types of problems involves taking the separate areas of each shape and then adding them to find the total area of the given composite figure. For example, to find the area of a shape that contains a triangle and rectangle, the length and width of the rectangle and the base and height of the triangle must be known. The formula to find the total area of this composite figure is the area of the triangle plus the area of the rectangle, which is 1/2(b x h)+ ( l x w).