Difference Between Length and Height

Length and Height

To understand what is length and height, let us consider a few examples of three dimensional geometric objects such as cube, square, cuboid, pyramid etc. These objects are measured in terms of three dimensions namely length, width and height. Length is a measure of extent of an object or the parameter which identifies how long is the object. Whereas, the parameter ‘height’ refers to the tallness of the object and measures the altitude of the object. It is a common tendency among the students and facilitators to go with a right choice among length vs height. There is a general incorrect notion that length and height are the same. However, though length and height have many similarities, they are Mathematically two different parameters by definition. There is a difference between length and width too. This article helps you to analyse the similarities and difference between length and height. 

What is Length And Height?

Length and height are the quantities in Mathematics which are still believed by many learners and even experts in the field as the same. In spite of a list of similarities between these two, there is a subtle difference between length and height. The table below describes the comparison of length vs height.

Comparison of Length vs Height





The measurement of an object from one point to another in the same plane is called the length.

Height is the measurement of an object from top to bottom.

What does it measure?

It determines how long the object is.

It is the representation of the tallness of the object.

Direction of measurement

Length is measured horizontally.

Height is measured vertically.


It is the most extended dimension of the object.

It is the dimension that would be up in the ordinary orientation.

Definition of Length

The longest dimension of an object is called its length. It is the horizontal extension of an object which is usually measured along the X axis of the cartesian coordinate graph. It gives the distance between the two ends. Length can be measured in terms of meters (centimeters, millimeters, kilometers), inches, feet, miles etc.  

Irrespective of the dimensions, length refers to the size of an object. It represents the degree of extension between any two points on the horizontal plane.

Definition of Height

Height is also a measure of distance. However, it is not the same as measured in case of length. Height is the measure of vertical distance of the object. i.e. the measure of an object from top to bottom. Height of an object is usually referred to as altitude. In case of three dimensional objects such as trees, buildings and mountains, the measurement of their height is one of the key factors that gives them more importance. It can also be defined as the measurement of the vertical distance of the object from its lowest point to its highest point. Height is also one of the quantities measured to determine the physical fitness of humans. Height has the same units of measurement as in case of length. It is measured in terms of meters, inches, feet and miles.

Difference Between Length and Height

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  • Length is the measurement of the distance of the object from one end to another. Height is the measure of the distance between the base and top of the object. 

  • Height ascertains the degree of tallness of the object and the length is the indicator of how long the object is.

  • Length is measured horizontally and is denoted along the X axis in the cartesian plane whereas height is measured vertically and is denoted along the Y axis of the cartesian plane.

  • Length is the longest facet of an object whereas height is the side of the object in the normal orientation but directed upwards.

Similarities of Length vs Height

  • Both length and height have the same units of measurement.

  • Length and height are measured in terms of units used for measuring the distance.

  • The units used for measuring length and height are: feet, inch, yards, meters.

Fun Facts

  • The International System of Units have prescribed ‘meter’ as the standard unit accepted all over the globe to measure length and height or any kind of distance. 

  • The height of a person is equal to the span of their arms when stretched out on the sides.

  • Difference between length and width is that length is the longest side of the object whereas width is the shorter side. For example, in a rectangle with sides 4 cm and 9 cm, the width measures 4 cm whereas the length measures 9 cm.

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

1. Are Length And Height The Same?

Length and height are confused to be the same kind of measurement by many students and facilitators. However, they are different in terms of many parameters. Though both length and height refers to the measurement of distance, they have a set of similarities and differences. The key difference between length and height is that the length is the horizontal distance of the object across its ends whereas height is the vertical distance of the object between its top and base. Length determines how long the object is whereas height is the indication of its tallness. A detailed understanding of what is length and height benefit the learners in understanding various concepts of analytical geometry easily.

2. What is The Difference Between Length And Width?

Length is the measure of extension of the end points of the object horizontally and so is the width. So, many may wonder if there is a difference between length and width or are they the same? To understand these questions, we need to know the differences between length and width. Length is the longest side between the endpoints of the object. Width which is also termed as ‘breadth’, which is the horizontal distance between the endpoints which is other than length. Width is usually measured in cases where the objects have lengths that form right angles with sides as in case of rectangles.