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Simple and Complex Polygons


A simple polygon does not intersect (cross) itself. Most polygons are simple polygons.


A complex polygon intersects (crosses) itself, thus creating a more complex shape that doesn’t follow all the rules for normal polygons.

Let’s consider some examples:


This is a simple polygon because it does not intersect or cross itself.


This is a complex polygon because it intersects or crosses itself. You can picture this as a simple polygon that was twisted to produce this shape.

Find below some more examples:

Determine whether each polygon is simple or complex.


This shape is simple because it never intersects (crosses) itself. Although, it is concave (that means it is indented).


This polygon is complex because it intersects (crosses) itself – many times.


A polygon is a closed figure made of line segments.

A simple polygon does not intersect (cross) itself. A complex polygon does. © 2015. All Rights Reserved.