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A circular sector is shaded in green.

A circular sector or circle sector (symbol: ), is the portion of a disk enclosed by two radii and an arc, where the smaller area is known as the minor sector and the larger being the major sector. In the diagram, θ is the central angle in radians, the radius of the circle, and is the arc length of the minor sector.

A sector with the central angle of 180° is called a half-disk and is bounded by a diameter and a semicircle. Sectors with other central angles are sometimes given special names, these include quadrants (90°), sextants (60°) and octants (45°), which come from the sector being one 4th, 6th or 8th part of a full circle, respectively. Confusingly, the arc of a quadrant can also be termed a quadrant.

The angle formed by connecting the endpoints of the arc to any point on the circumference that is not in the sector is equal to half the central angle.


The total area of a circle is πr2. The area of the sector can be obtained by multiplying the circle's area by the ratio of the angle and 2π (because the area of the sector is proportional to its angle, and 2π is the angle for the whole circle, in radians):


The area of a sector in terms of L can be obtained by multiplying the total area πr2 by the ratio of L to the total perimeter 2πr.


Another approach is to consider this area as the result of the following integral:


Converting the central angle into degrees gives



The length of the perimeter of a sector is the sum of the arc length and the two radii:


where θ is in radians.

Arc lengthEdit

The formula for the length of an arc is:


where L represents the arc length, r represents the radius of the circle and θ represents the angle in radians made by the arc at the centre of the circle.

If the value of angle is given in degrees, then we can also use the following formula:


Chord lengthEdit

The length of a chord formed with the extremal points of the arc is given by


where C represents the chord length, R represents the radius of the circle, and θ represents the angular width of the sector in radians.

See alsoEdit

  • Circular segment – the part of the sector which remains after removing the triangle formed by the center of the circle and the two endpoints of the circular arc on the boundary.
  • Conic section