Parts of a Geometric Pyramid

Pyramids are three-dimensional figures that are created by a polygon as its base and triangles as its other faces, where all the triangles meet at a common vertex. The fundamental parts of a pyramid are the base, the lateral faces, the height, the slant height, and the vertex or apex.

Here, we will learn more about these parts of the pyramid. We will use a diagram to illustrate the concepts. Then, we will look at the different types of pyramids. Finally, we will learn about the most important formulas of geometric pyramids.

parts of a geometric pyramid

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Learning about the parts of geometric pyramids.

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parts of a geometric pyramid

Relevant for

Learning about the parts of geometric pyramids.

See parts

Important parts of a pyramid

The most important parts of a pyramid are:

  • Base
  • Vertex or Apex
  • Height
  • Lateral faces
  • Slant height


The base is the polygon in which the pyramid stands. The base can have different geometric shapes. For example, if the base is a triangle, the pyramid is called a triangular pyramid and if the base is a hexagon, the pyramid is called a hexagonal pyramid.


The height of a pyramid is the perpendicular distance from the vertex to the base.

Lateral faces

The lateral faces are the faces formed by covering the sides of the base. All lateral faces meet at the vertex and have a triangular shape. The number of lateral faces is equal to the number of sides of the base. For example, a hexagonal pyramid has six lateral faces since its base has six sides.

Slant height

The slant height is the perpendicular height from the vertex to one of the sides of the base. We can also call this height as lateral height.

Different type of pyramids

There are a great variety of pyramids. We can form different pyramids by using different geometric shapes on the bases. A pyramid is named with respect to the figure at its base. The following are some of the most common pyramids along with their diagrams.

  • Triangular pyramid
diagram of triangular pyramid
  • Square pyramid
diagram of a square pyramid
  • Rectangular pyramid
diagram of a rectangular pyramid
  • Pentagonal pyramid
dimensions of a pentagonal pyramid
  • Hexagonal pyramid
hexagonal pyramid with dimensions

Important formulas for pyramids

Pyramids are three-dimensional geometric figures, so their most important formulas are the volume formula and the surface area formula.

Volume formula

The volume of any pyramid is calculated by multiplying the area of its base times the height and dividing the product by three. That is, we have the following formula:

$latex V=\frac{1}{3}\text{Area Base} \times h$

where h represents the length of the height of the pyramid.

Surface area formula

The surface area of any geometric figure is found by adding the areas of all the faces of the figure. Therefore, the surface area of pyramids is equivalent to the sum of the area of the base plus the areas of the lateral faces. The lateral faces are triangles, so we can use the following formula:

$latex A_{s}=\frac{h_{i}P}{2}+A_{b}$

where $latex h_{i}$ represents the lant height, that is, the height of each triangular face, P represents the perimeter of the base, that is, the sum of all its sides and $latex A_{b}$ represents the area of the base.

See also

Interested in learning more about geometric pyramids? Take a look at these pages:

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