Not to be confused with Conical surfaces. For other uses, see Cone (disambiguation). A cone is a three-dimensional geometric shape that tapers smoothly from a flat base (frequently, though not necessarily, circular) to a point called the apex or vertex. More precisely, it is the solid figure bounded by a base in a plane and by a surface (called the lateral surface) formed by the locus of all straight line segments joining the apex to the perimeter of the base. The term “cone” sometimes refers just to the surface of this solid figure, or just to the lateral surface. The axis of a cone is the straight line (if any), passing through the apex, about which the base (and the whole cone) has a rotational symmetry. In common usage in elementary geometry, cones are assumed to be right circular, where circular means that the base is a circle and right means that the axis passes through the centre of the base at right angles to its plane. Contrasted with right cones are oblique cones, in which the axis does not pass perpendicularly through the centre of the base. In general, however, the base may be any shape and the apex may lie anywhere (though it is usually assumed that the base is bounded and therefore has finite area, and that the apex lies outside the plane of the base). A cone with a polygonal base is called a pyramid.