 TOPICS  # Isosceles Triangle An isosceles triangle is a triangle with (at least) two equal sides. In the figure above, the two equal sides have length and the remaining side has length . This property is equivalent to two angles of the triangle being equal. An isosceles triangle therefore has both two equal sides and two equal angles. The name derives from the Greek iso (same) and skelos (leg).

A triangle with all sides equal is called an equilateral triangle, and a triangle with no sides equal is called a scalene triangle. An equilateral triangle is therefore a special case of an isosceles triangle having not just two, but all three sides and angles equal. Another special case of an isosceles triangle is the isosceles right triangle.

The height of the isosceles triangle illustrated above can be found from the Pythagorean theorem as (1)

The area is therefore given by   (2)   (3)   (4)

The inradius of an isosceles triangle is given by (5)

The mean of is given by   (6)   (7)

so the geometric centroid is   (8)   (9)

or 2/3 the way from its vertex (Gearhart and Schulz 1990). Considering the angle at the apex of the triangle and writing instead of , there is a surprisingly simple relationship between the area and vertex angle . As shown in the above diagram, simple trigonometry gives   (10)   (11)

so the area is   (12)   (13)   (14)   (15) Erecting similar isosceles triangles on the edges of an initial triangle gives another triangle such that , , and concur. The triangles are therefore perspective triangles.

No set of points in the plane can determine only isosceles triangles.

30-60-90 Triangle, Acute Triangle, Equilateral Triangle, Golden Gnomon, Golden Triangle, Isosceles Right Triangle, Isosceles Tetrahedron, Isoscelizer, Kiepert Parabola, Obtuse Triangle, Petr-Neumann-Douglas Theorem, Point Picking, Pons Asinorum, Right Triangle, Scalene Triangle, Steiner-Lehmus Theorem Explore this topic in the MathWorld classroom

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## References

Gearhart, W. B. and Schulz, H. S. "The Function ." College Math. J. 21, 90-99, 1990.

## Cite this as:

Weisstein, Eric W. "Isosceles Triangle." From MathWorld--A Wolfram Web Resource. https://mathworld.wolfram.com/IsoscelesTriangle.html