A cylinder technically has two curved edges, but in mathematics, an edge is defined as a straight line. Therefore, a cylinder actually has no edges, no vertices and two faces.

Cylinder originates from the Greek word "kulindros," meaning "roller" or "tumbler." It is a basic geometric shape, defined by its axis and enclosed surface area. In differential geometry, a cylinder's properties are more broad. When its cross section is an ellipse, parabola or hyperbola, a cylinder is called an elliptic, parabolic or hyperbolic cylinder, respectively.

Everyday uses of a cylinder are containers, the piston chamber in engines and bullet chambers.