Venn Diagram

Reviewed by Sujaini | Updated on Aug 27, 2020

What is a Venn Diagram?

A Venn diagram is an analogy that displays the relationships between objects, or finite groups of objects, using circles. Circles that overlap have a commonality while non-overlapping circles do not share similar characteristics.

Venn diagrams help describe the similarities and differences between the two ideas in a visual way. They were long known as educational devices for their usefulness. Since the mid-20th century, Venn diagrams have been used as part of the introductory logic curriculum and in elementary-level educational plans around the world.

Breaking Down the Venn Diagram

The diagram became famous in the 1880s by the English logician, John Venn. After the Swiss mathematician Leonard Euler, who generated similar diagrams in the 1700s, John Venn called them the Eulerian circles.

The term 'Venn diagram' emerged only in 1918 when Clarence Lewis, an American academic philosopher and the eventual founder of philosophical pragmatism, in his book 'A Study of Symbolic Logic' referred to the circular depiction as the Venn diagram.

Applications for Venn Diagrams

Venn diagrams are used to explain how objects relate to an overall context, universe, data collection, or environment. For example, a Venn diagram may be used to compare two companies within the same industry by showing the goods provided by the two companies (where circles overlap) and the products unique to each company (outer rings).

At a basic level, Venn diagrams are simple pictorial representations of the relation between two sets of things. They can be a lot more complicated, though. Nevertheless, the Venn diagram's simplified function to explain concepts and classes have contributed to its popularisation in many fields, including linguistics, statistics, logic, computer science, education, and business.