Wikipedia defines lattice constant as physical dimension of unit cells in a crystal lattice.
Unit cell is defined as:
The unit cell is defined as the smallest repeating unit having the full symmetry of the crystal structure. The geometry of the unit cell is defined as a parallelepiped
Why that elementary pattern that repeats itself in crystals is always a parallelepiped? In real life such elementary repeating unit/part/block is very often not a parallelepiped at all!
Is this some abstraction and a "bounding parallelepiped" is meant - the one into which definitely fits whatever real elementary repeating pattern is?