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Cubic vs. Square: What's the Difference?

Edited by Aimie Carlson || By Janet White || Published on December 17, 2023
Cubic refers to a three-dimensional shape with equal sides (a cube), while square pertains to a two-dimensional shape with equal sides and right angles.

Key Differences

Cubic is used to describe three-dimensional objects, like a dice, with equal length, width, and height. Square refers to a flat, two-dimensional shape with four equal sides and four right angles.
In mathematics, cubic is often used in the context of volume (cubic meters, cubic feet), implying a three-dimensional measurement. Square, however, is used in the context of area (square meters, square feet), indicating a two-dimensional measurement.
A cubic shape is represented in geometry as a six-faced figure where each face is a square. A square, by contrast, is a four-sided polygon, often used as the face of a cube.
The term cubic is commonly associated with three-dimensionality in various fields, like architecture or 3D modeling. Square finds its usage more in planar geometry and is a fundamental shape in design and layout.
The concept of cubic often symbolizes solidity and uniformity in three dimensions. In contrast, square symbolizes balance and regularity in two dimensions.

Comparison Chart


Three-dimensional (3D)
Two-dimensional (2D)


Volume (e.g., cubic meters)
Area (e.g., square meters)

Geometric Form

Six faces, each a square
Four equal sides with right angles


Solidity, uniformity in 3D
Balance, regularity in 2D

Practical Usage

Architecture, 3D modeling
Planar geometry, design, and layout

Cubic and Square Definitions


Cubic refers to something in the shape of a cube.
The artist sculpted a cubic structure from marble.


Square describes a four-sided, flat shape with equal sides.
The tiles on the floor were arranged in a square pattern.


In geometry, cubic describes a three-dimensional figure.
The puzzle was made up of several small cubic pieces.


It's used to denote a right-angled, equilateral quadrilateral.
She drew a perfect square on the blackboard.


It describes a volume with three equal dimensions.
We measured the storage unit in cubic feet.


Square also means raising a number to its second power.
The square of 5 is 25.


Cubic can also mean raising a number to its third power.
Calculating the cube of 3 gives us 27.


In common usage, square implies fairness or balance.
They settled the matter in a square manner.


It's used to denote something related to cubes.
The game involved stacking cubic blocks.


It can refer to an open, typically four-sided, area in a town.
They met at the central town square.


Having the shape of a cube.


A polygon having four equal sides and four equal angles.


Something having an equal-sided rectangular form
A square of cloth.


Can a square be cubic?

No, a square is two-dimensional, while cubic is three-dimensional.

What is a cubic equation?

An equation involving the third power of an unknown variable.

What does 'squared away' mean?

It's an idiomatic expression meaning organized or in order.

What does cubic volume mean?

It refers to the volume of a three-dimensional space, measured in cubic units.

Does square have angles other than 90 degrees?

No, all angles in a square are right angles (90 degrees).

Can a square have unequal sides?

No, all sides of a square are equal in length.

Can you have a square in three dimensions?

No, a square is inherently a two-dimensional shape.

Is every side of a cube a square?

Yes, all faces of a cube are squares.

Is cubic related to a cube's surface area?

Not directly, cubic usually refers to volume, not surface area.

Can a circle be squared?

In common terms, no. It's a mathematical challenge to square a circle.

What's a cubic meter?

A unit of volume equal to a cube with sides of one meter each.

What's the difference between cubic feet and square feet?

Cubic feet measure volume, while square feet measure area.

Can a square be transformed into a cube?

Not physically, as they exist in different dimensions.

How is 'cubic' used in math?

It's used to describe three-dimensional volumes and the third power of numbers.

What are cubic zirconia?

Synthetic crystals that resemble diamonds, named for their cubic crystal form.

How do you calculate a square root?

A square root is calculated as the number that, when squared, gives the original number.

Does a cube have six squares?

Yes, a cube is made up of six square faces.

What is a square number?

A number that is the product of some integer with itself.

Can a cubic object be flattened into a square?

Not without losing its three-dimensional properties.

What does 'fair and square' mean?

It means to do something honestly and justly.
About Author
Written by
Janet White
Janet White has been an esteemed writer and blogger for Difference Wiki. Holding a Master's degree in Science and Medical Journalism from the prestigious Boston University, she has consistently demonstrated her expertise and passion for her field. When she's not immersed in her work, Janet relishes her time exercising, delving into a good book, and cherishing moments with friends and family.
Edited by
Aimie Carlson
Aimie Carlson, holding a master's degree in English literature, is a fervent English language enthusiast. She lends her writing talents to Difference Wiki, a prominent website that specializes in comparisons, offering readers insightful analyses that both captivate and inform.

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