Concave and convex

The difference between concave and convex lies in our view of curvature:

  • when the curvature is inward , we say that it is concave ;
  • when the curvature is outward , we say it is convex .

We use the words concave and convex to describe the shape or curved lines, usually in the area of ​​science: mathematics, physics, among others. Concave and convex are antonyms, that is, opposite terms.

DefinitionSomething that is curved inward.That which presents an outward curve.
EtymologyLatin concavus : excavated, cavityLatin convexus: rounded surface.
  • Concave lenses: telescopes
  • Concave mirrors
  • Convex lenses: microscopes, magnifying glasses
  • Convex mirrors
  • Water meniscus
  • Cup cavity
  • Inside of a parachute
  • Shape of the armpit
  • Craters
  • Interior rear view mirror
  • Mercury Meniscus
  • External surface of a cup
  • Parachute exterior
  • Shoulder shape
  • Hills
  • Driver’s side rearview mirror



The term “concave” is applied to that which has an internal curvature. It is used to describe shapes with cavities, such as the concavity of the skull, a set of bones that protect the brain.

Concave mirrors are those that look sunken and are generally used to reflect larger images.


The term “convex” is applied to that which has a rounded shape that protrudes. It is used to describe the circular outer surfaces, such as the outer surface of the skull, that gives the head the round shape.

Safety mirrors used on low-visibility street corners or in shopping centers are convex mirrors, which produce a reduced image due to the way light is reflected off them.

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