Concave vs Convex

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What’s the difference between them?

Concave

Meaning:

Having a hollow or curved inward shape like the interior of a circle or sphere.

Examples:

1. The concave lens was used to magnify the small object.

2. The arch in the bridge was a concave shape.

3. The concave shape created a natural bowl in the sand.

Convex

Meaning:

Convex is an adjective used to describe a curved surface that bulges outward like a rugby ball.

Examples:

1. The glass was convex, creating a distorted reflection of the room.

2. The surface of the rock was smooth and convex.

3. The convex lens magnified the image more than the concave lens.

Learn similar and opposite words to spot the difference

Synonyms

Antonyms

Concave

Hollowed

indented

Convex

Convex

Bulging

protruding

Concave

Tricks for mastery

Useful tips to understand the difference between confusing words "Concave", "Convex".

1. Use the mnemonics to differentiate endings. 'Vex is curved out, cave is curved in'

2. Associate ending 'cave' with a large hole inside the hill to remember that 'concave' is a surface curved in.

3. Associate 'convex' with a rugby ball.

Check the full list of commonly confused words in English

Learn the difference

Frequently asked questions

When to use the word ‘concave’?

The word ‘concave’ is used to describe an object or surface that curves inward like the inside of a bowl. An example of a concave shape would be the shape of a spoon. It is also used to describe a mirror that is curved inward, which can create an image that is smaller than the actual object being viewed.

When to use the word ‘convex’?

The word ‘convex’ is used to describe an object or surface that curves outward like the outside of a bowl. An example of a convex shape would be the shape of a basketball. It is also used to describe a mirror that is curved outward, which can create an image that is larger than the actual object being viewed.

Do the words ‘concave’ and ‘convex’ have the same pronunciation?

No, the words ‘concave’ and ‘convex’ do not have the same pronunciation. ‘Concave’ is pronounced as /kɒnˈkeɪv/ and ‘convex’ is pronounced as /kɒnˈvɛks/.

What are common mistakes associated with the words ‘concave’ and ‘convex’?

One common mistake is confusing the two words. Another mistake is mispronouncing the words; for example, pronouncing ‘convex’ as /kənˈvɛks/ instead of /kɒnˈvɛks/. Lastly, people sometimes use the wrong word to describe the shape of an object. For example, using the word ‘concave’ to describe a basketball which is actually a convex shape.

Fill in the gaps to check yourself

1. The surface of the lake was __________, like a bowl.

2. The cup had a __________ shape.

3. The glasses had a __________ shape.

4. The walls were __________, not straight.

5. The mountain had a __________ shape.

6. The ceiling had a __________ shape.

1. Concave.

Explanation: Concave means curving inward like a bowl or a cave, which describes the surface of a lake.

2. Convex.

Explanation: Convex means curved outward like a bulge or protuberance, which describes the shape of a cup.

3. Convex.

Explanation: Convex means curved outward like a bulge or protuberance, which describes the shape of glasses.

4. Concave.

Explanation: Concave means curving inward like a bowl or a cave, which describes walls that are not straight.

5. Convex.

Explanation: Convex means curved outward like a bulge or protuberance, which describes the shape of a mountain.

6. Concave.

Explanation: Concave means curving inward like a bowl or a cave, which describes the shape of a ceiling.

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List of Commonly Confused Words

Finding your way around the English language can be hard, especially since there are so many confusing words and rules. So, a list of the most confusing words in English is an extremely useful tool for improving language accuracy and sharing the ideas clearly.