I know that most shape names in French are masculine. Although, the words for sphere and pyramid are two exceptions that I've found, I'm inclined to think that the word for hypercube is masculine because the word for cube is masculine.

Does anyone know if the word for hypercube or tesseract is masculine or feminine? Can you show me an example usage in a french text?

  • 2
    Your instinct was perfectly right: hypercube comes from the same root as cube and shares the gender, as Random's answer proved. Most shapes are masculine too (I can think of ellipse as a counter-example, but nothing else comes to mind). – Chop Aug 11 '15 at 8:10
  • On a graph, there is also "hyperbole" or "parabole" (and certainly more with the same root...) which are feminine. – Random Aug 11 '15 at 8:37
  • good question because sharing the same root does not always mean that you share the gender. As you mentioned, "une sphère" is feminine, but if you cut it in half you have "un hémisphère" (masculine) – radouxju Aug 12 '15 at 6:06

On Wikipedia, there is a nice definition of hypercube and tesseract, which are both masculine :

Un hypercube est, en géométrie, un analogue n-dimensionnel d'un carré (n = 2) et d'un cube (n = 3). C'est une figure fermée, compacte, convexe constituée de groupes de segments parallèles opposés alignés dans chacune des dimensions de l'espace, à angle droit les uns par rapport aux autres.

Un hypercube n-dimensionnel est aussi appelé un n-cube. Le terme « polytope de mesure » (qui est apparemment dû à Coxeter ; voir #Références) est aussi utilisé mais il est rare. Enfin, le cas particulier du 4-cube est souvent désigné par le terme de tesseract.

  • It seems to be the case that nearly all foreign words are assumed to be masculine, is that correct? I can only think of one exception so far: "La NFL" (La National Football League), because if I'm not mistaken "league" translates to ligue, which is a feminine noun. – Cookie Aug 12 '15 at 18:11
  • You are correct... but as always, there may be some exceptions, as you noticed... it's the same thing with "la NBA", "la concept-car"... it looks like if the word exists in french, and is feminine, then the englesh one will also be feminine... but here again, no absolute rule... – Random Aug 13 '15 at 7:45

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