Distance Formula

Pronunciation: /ˈdɪstəns ˈfɔrmyələ/ ?

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Manipulative 1: Distance formula. Created with GeoGebra.

The distance formula is used to calculate the distance between any two points.[1] For the distance between the origin (0,0) and a point in a plane, the formula is D=square root(x^2+y^2) where the coordinate of the point is (x,y) The formula for the distance between any two points on the Cartesian plane is D=square root((x2-x1)^2+(y2-y1)^2)

The distance formula is derived from the Pythagorean theorem which states for a right triangle with legs of length A and B, and an hypotenuse of length C, then the relationship A^2+B^2=C^2 is always true.


  1. Barnett Rich, Christopher Thomas. Schaum's Outline of Geometry, 4th edition, pg 206. McGraw-Hill, August 13, 2008.
  2. John Sparks. The Student's Essential Formula Book, pg 33. AuthorHouse, July 12, 2004.

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Cite this article as:

Distance Formula. 2010-01-23. All Math Words Encyclopedia. Life is a Story Problem LLC. http://www.allmathwords.org/en/d/distanceformula.html.


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Revision History

2010-01-23: Added "References" (McAdams, David.)
2008-12-12: Added manipulative 1 (McAdams, David.)
2008-11-25: Changed equations to images (McAdams, David.)
2008-07-12: Changed equations to Hot_Eqn (McAdams, David.)
2008-02-04: Fixed spelling error (McAdams, David.)
2007-07-12: Initial version (McAdams, David.)

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