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How many sides does a regular polygon have?

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Quick Answer

The number of sides a regular polygon has is indicated by the name of the polygon. For example, a pentagon has five sides, and an octagon has eight sides. The fewest number of sides a polygon can have is three, but there is no upper limit.

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Full Answer

The name "polygon" comes from the Greek words "polus," meaning "many," and "gonia," meaning "corner" or "angle." To be classified as a regular polygon, all of the sides and angles must be congruent. A three-sided regular polygon is called an equilateral triangle. A four-sided regular polygon is called a square. The names of many-sided polygons can be constructed from Greek-derived number names, such as dodecagon for a 12-sided polygon or hexadecagon for a 17-sided polygon. However, past a certain number of sides, mathematicians normally use the abbreviation "n-gon," so a 25-sided polygon is called a 25-gon.

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