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Oblong vs. Oval: What's the Difference?

Edited by Harlon Moss || By Janet White || Updated on October 4, 2023
An Oblong is a shape elongated in one direction, often a rectangle with longer sides, while an Oval is a rounded shape resembling an egg or ellipse.

Key Differences

An Oblong shape, by its very nature, is one that's extended more in one direction than the other. It doesn't necessarily have to have perfectly straight sides. Conversely, an Oval, while also extended, has smooth, curved sides and lacks the sharper angles often associated with oblong shapes.
When looking at various shapes, one might describe a longer rectangle as Oblong, emphasizing its uneven extension in one direction. On the other hand, an Oval has a continuous curved line without any straight edges, evoking thoughts of an egg or an ellipse.
In design, an Oblong shape might be chosen to emphasize length or to fit specific content. It provides a sense of direction, either horizontal or vertical. Meanwhile, the Oval offers a sense of softness and continuity, often chosen for its aesthetic appeal and lack of hard edges.
Think of a stretched square, and you might be picturing an Oblong. This shape, with its elongated form, can often be found in architecture or designs where length is highlighted. In contrast, the Oval is reminiscent of racetracks or mirrors, a symmetrical shape with no beginning or end.
From a geometrical perspective, an Oblong is often considered a rectangle, not a square, because of its unequal sides. An Oval, however, doesn't adhere to the strict angular constraints of rectangles or squares and is more fluid in its curvature.

Comparison Chart


Elongated shape, longer in one direction.
Rounded shape, resembling an egg or ellipse.


Can have straight edges.
Always has curved edges.


Can be asymmetrical depending on context.
Typically symmetrical along its major and minor axis.

Common Examples

Extended rectangle, stretched square.
Egg, racetrack, ellipse.


Often considered a non-square rectangle.
Doesn't have the angular constraints of rectangles.

Oblong and Oval Definitions


A shape having an extended length.
The Oblong pool allowed for more swimmers to do laps simultaneously.


A shape with a symmetrical curvature.
Her face had an Oval contour, often considered classically beautiful.


An elongated form or figure.
The table had an Oblong shape, perfect for the narrow room.


A geometric shape without vertices or angles.
The Oval window brought a unique charm to the house.


A rectangle that is longer in one dimension.
The Oblong book was difficult to fit on the standard shelf.


A closed curve in a plane.
The racetrack was Oval, allowing for high-speed races.


A geometric shape with unequal adjacent sides.
The park featured an Oblong playground for children.


A flattened or elongated circle.
The stadium had an Oval design, ensuring every seat had a good view.


A term used to describe objects longer than they are wide.
The artist chose an Oblong canvas for his panoramic scene.


Resembling an egg in shape.


Deviating from a square, circular, or spherical form by being elongated in one direction.


Resembling an ellipse in shape; elliptical.


Having the shape of or resembling a rectangle or ellipse.


An egg-shaped or elliptical form or figure.


(Botany) Having an elongated form with approximately parallel sides
An oblong leaf.


An elliptical track, as for racing or athletic events.


An object or figure, such as a rectangle, with an elongated shape.


An elongated round shape resembling an egg or ellipse. Category:en:Curves


Having a length and width that are different; not square or circular.


A thing having such a shape, such as an arena.


Roughly rectangular or elliptical.


(math) In a projective plane, a set of points such that no three are collinear and there is a unique tangent line at each point.


(bookmaking) Having the horizontal axis of a page longer than the vertical; In landscape orientation.


(AU) A sports field, typically but not exclusively oval in shape.


Something with an oblong shape.


Having the shape of an oval.


A rectangle with length and width that are different.


Of or pertaining to an ovum.
Oval conceptions


An ellipse with minor and major axes that are different.


Of or pertaining to eggs; done in the egg, or inception; as, oval conceptions.


To extend so as to form an oblong shape.


Having the figure of an egg; oblong and curvilinear, with one end broader than the other, or with both ends of about the same breadth; in popular usage, elliptical.


To give an oblong shape to.


Broadly elliptical.


Having greater length than breadth, esp. when rectangular.


A body or figure in the shape of an egg, or popularly, of an ellipse.


A rectangular figure longer than it is broad; hence, any figure longer than it is broad.
The best figure of a garden I esteem an oblong upon a descent.


A closed plane curve resulting from the intersection of a circular cone and a plane cutting completely through it;
The sums of the distances from the foci to any point on an ellipse is constant


A plane figure that deviates from a square or circle due to elongation


Rounded like an egg


Of a leaf shape; having a somewhat elongated form with approximately parallel sides


An elongated circle, often resembling an egg.
The mirror had a beautiful Oval shape that complemented the room.


Deviating from a square or circle or sphere by being elongated in one direction


Is a square considered Oblong?

No, an Oblong is elongated in one direction, unlike a square.

Is an Oval's curvature always even?

Typically, an Oval has a symmetrical curvature, resembling an egg or ellipse.

Can an Oval be a perfect circle?

No, an Oval is elongated and differs from a perfect circle.

Are all rectangles Oblong?

Not all. An Oblong rectangle is one that's notably longer in one direction.

Is an Oblong always a rectangle?

While often rectangular, an Oblong can refer to any elongated shape.

Which shape, Oblong or Oval, is better for a dining table?

It's subjective. An Oblong table might fit better in narrow spaces, while an Oval table can soften a room's aesthetics.

Can a shape be both Oval and Oblong?

While both indicate elongation, Oblong often suggests straight edges, whereas Oval always has curves.

Can an Oblong shape have curved edges?

Yes, while often associated with straight edges, Oblong can refer to elongated shapes with curves.

Is an Oval always symmetrical?

Typically, an Oval is symmetrical along its major and minor axis.

Which is softer in design, Oblong or Oval?

An Oval with its continuous curved edges is considered softer than the straight-edged Oblong.

How is an ellipse related to an Oval?

An ellipse is a type of Oval, having two axes of symmetry.

Can an Oblong be horizontal or vertical?

Yes, an Oblong can be elongated either horizontally or vertically.

Are Oval shapes found in nature?

Yes, many natural objects, like eggs, are Oval in shape.

What's another term for Oblong?

Oblong is often synonymous with "elongated" or "extended."

Can Oblong refer to 3D objects?

Yes, Oblong can describe any object, 2D or 3D, that's elongated in one direction.

Are all Ovals ellipses?

While all ellipses are Ovals, not all Ovals are precisely ellipses.

Do Oval shapes have corners?

No, an Oval is a curve without corners or vertices.

Is a stretched circle an Oblong?

A stretched circle is more aptly described as an Oval.

How do you draw an Oval?

An Oval can be drawn using two focal points and maintaining a consistent distance.

Are Ovals always flat?

In geometry, an Oval is a 2D shape, but it can describe the surface shape of 3D objects too.
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
Harlon Moss
Harlon is a seasoned quality moderator and accomplished content writer for Difference Wiki. An alumnus of the prestigious University of California, he earned his degree in Computer Science. Leveraging his academic background, Harlon brings a meticulous and informed perspective to his work, ensuring content accuracy and excellence.

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