'Rhombus' vs 'Parallelogram': What's the Difference?

By Amy Gilmore, updated on October 17, 2023

Do you need to know the difference between a 'rhombus' vs. 'parallelogram?' You came to the right place.

Here is the short answer:

  • A 'rhombus' is a square or any other parallelogram with four equal sides that may have no right angles.
  • A 'parallelogram' is a four-sided polygon with opposite sides that are equal and parallel.

The answer above is just a brief overview. To learn more about these terms, keep reading!

What is the Difference Between 'Rhombus' vs. 'Parallelogram?'

A 'rhombus' and a 'parallelogram' are both four-sided shapes. However, the terms indicate specific qualities that the shapes have.

  • So, a 'rhombus' is any square or other four-sided shape with four equal sides that may or may not have right angles.
  • A 'parallelogram' is a polygon with four sides where all of the parallel sides are equal.

So, all 'rhombuses' are 'parallelograms. All 'parallelograms' are not 'rhombuses,' though.

For example, a square is a 'rhombus' but not a 'parallelogram.' However, a rectangle is a 'parallelogram,' but not a 'rhombus.'

Other Geometric Shapes

'Rhombi' and 'parallelograms' are two-dimensional shapes you may encounter when you are doing geometry. But they are not the only two-dimensional geometric shapes.

Others include:

  • Circle
  • Square
  • Triangle
  • Semi-circle
  • Trapezoid
  • Kite
  • Polygon
  • Hexagon
  • Nonagon
  • Octagon
  • Decagon

There are also three-dimensional geometric shapes like:

  • Cylinders
  • Cones
  • Cubes
  • Spheres

The difference between two-dimensional shapes like 'rhombi' and 'parallelograms' and three-dimensional shapes like cones and cylinders is that the former are flat while the latter shapes have depth.

Definition of 'Rhombus': What Does 'Rhombus' Mean?

According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, 'rhombus' is defined as a noun that means:

  • A parallelogram with four sides that are equal to each other and may or may not have right angles
  • In geometry, a quadrilateral that has four equal sides of equal length
  • An equilateral quadrilateral

Definition of 'Parallelogram': What Does 'Parallelogram' Mean?

The same dictionary defines 'parallelogram' as a noun that means:

  • A quadrilateral that has parallel sides that equal each other
  • In geometry, a simple quadrilateral with two sets of parallel sides
  • A quadrilateral with facing sides that are an equal length and opposite sides that are an equal length

Pronunciation: How to Pronounce 'Rhombus' vs. 'Parallelogram'

Next, let's look at the pronunciation of these terms. Learning how to pronounce 'rhombus' vs. 'parallelogram' will give you the confidence you need to use the terms in conversations or when you are speaking in front of a group of people.

So, here is a guide you can reference for pronouncing 'rhombus' vs. 'parallelogram.'

  • Use this phonetic spelling to pronounce 'rhombus':


  • Use this phonetic spelling to pronounce 'parallelogram':


When and How to Use 'Rhombus' vs. 'Parallelogram'

Knowing the definition of these terms is beneficial, but it also helps to know how and when to use each. So, here are some tips for using 'rhombus' vs. 'parallelogram.'

  • Use 'parallelogram' for any 'rhombus.'

For example, you could say:

The square is a rhombus and a parallelogram. 

  • Use 'rhombus' for any shape that has four sides that all equal each other.

As an example, someone might say:

Diamonds and squares are both rhombi.

  • Use 'rhombuses' or 'rhombi' as the plural of 'rhombus.'

So, you might say:

In this chapter, we are going to learn about rhombuses. 


We are working on the chapter that covers rhombi.

  • Use 'parallelogram' for any shape that has four sides with the parallel sides being equal.

As an example, I might say:

A rectangle is a parallelogram because the parallel sides are equal to each other, but all four sides are not equal.

  • Use 'parallelograms' as the plural form of 'parallelogram.'

So, you could say:

'Parallelograms' are always rhombi.

Sample Sentences: 'Rhombus' vs. 'Parallelogram'

Here are some sample sentences using 'rhombus' vs. 'parallelogram.' Reading them will help you remember the difference between these terms and how to use them.


  • Good morning. Please sit down and draw a rhombus in your geometry notebook.
  • The artist paints rhombuses of various sizes and colors.
  • Some kites are rhombuses that have two angles that are larger than 90 degrees and two that are smaller than 90 degrees.
  • Squares are rhombi that have four equal sides and four right angles.
  • The front of that house looks like a rhombus, but it is actually a rectangle.


  • Please draw a teal parallelogram on your paper.
  • A rectangle is a parallelogram because its opposite sides are equal in length.
  • Recently, Trenton Doyle Hancock, a Houston-based artist, designed a regulation-size basketball court in the Contemporary Art Museum Houston's parallelogram-shaped gallery.
  • If you are unsure what to draw, start with a parallelogram and go from there.
  • Parallelograms come in many sizes, but they always have two sets of sides that are equal in length.


  • Please classify each of the shapes on your paper as a rhombus or parallelogram.
  • All rhombuses, squares, and rectangles are parallelograms, and all squares are rhombuses.
  • Color the rhombuses violet and the non-rhombus parallelograms blue.
  • I can't wait until we finish this lesson. Parallelograms and rhombuses confuse me.
  • Can you tell me if a rectangle is a rhombus or a parallelogram?

Final Advice on the Difference Between 'Rhombus' vs. 'Parallelogram'

Wow! We covered a lot of information in this post. So, here is a quick recap of what you learned about the difference between 'rhombus' vs. 'parallelogram.'

  • 'Rhombus' is a term for a quadrilateral with four equal sides that may or may not contain right angles. 
  • 'Parallelograms' is a quadrilateral with facing or opposite sides that are equal in length. 
  • All 'rhombuses' are 'parallelograms' but not all 'parallelograms' are 'rhombuses.'

Terms like these can be challenging to remember even after you've learned their meaning. So, if you get mixed up in the future, you can return to this page to review this lesson.

You can also learn about hundreds of other words like these in the confusing words section here. Each guide explains the difference between the terms it covers with definitions, pronunciations, and examples.

So, whether you need to verify the correct term to use quickly or want to learn more about English words and grammar rules, they are an excellent resource.

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Written By:
Amy Gilmore
Amy Gilmore is one of the lead freelance writers for WritingTips.org. She has been a professional writer and editor for the past eight years. She developed a love of language arts and literature in school and decided to become a professional freelance writer after a demanding career in real estate. Amy is constantly learning to become a better writer and loves sharing tips with other writers who want to do the same.

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