- The definition of a shape is a specific form, a particular condition, the outline of something you can see even when you cannot clearly make out what it is, or to a something cut out of paper.
- An example of a shape is a square diamond.
- An example of shape is a state of ill health.
- An example of shape is when you see the shadow of a figure but can't make out who it is.
- An example of shape is a circle cut out of construction paper.
- To shape is to mold something or someone.
- An example of shape is when you mold clay.
- An example of shape is when you set the design of a project.
- An example of shape is when you influence a child's future.
- that quality of a thing which depends on the relative position of all points composing its outline or external surface; physical or spatial form
- the form characteristic of a particular person or thing, or class of things
- the contour of the body, exclusive of the face; figure
- assumed or feigned appearance; guise: a foe in the shape of a friend
- an imaginary or spectral form; phantom
- something having a particular shape, used as a mold or basis for shaping or fashioning
- any of the forms, structures, etc. in which a thing may exist: dangers of every shape
- definite, regular, or suitable form; orderly arrangement: to begin to take shape
- condition; state, esp. of health: a patient in poor shape
- good physical condition: exercises that keep one in shape
Origin of shapeMiddle English schap ; from Old English (ge)sceap, form, created thing, akin to scieppan, to create, form ; from Indo-European an unverified form skeb-, variant, variety of base an unverified form (s)kep-, to cut with a sharp tool from source shaft, shave
transitive verbshaped, shaping
- to give definite shape to; make, as by cutting or molding material
- to arrange, fashion, express, or devise (a plan, answer, etc.) in definite form
- to adapt or adjust: to shape one's plans to one's abilities
- to direct or conduct (one's life, the course of events, etc.)
- Obsolete to appoint or decree
- Obsolete to become suited; conform
- Rare to happen
- Informal to take shape or form: often with into or up
out of shapeInformal
- not in good physical condition
- damaged, bent, etc. so as not to have its usual form
shape up☆ Informal
- to develop to a definite form, condition, etc.
- to develop satisfactorily or favorably
- to do what is expected of one; behave as required
- a. The characteristic surface configuration of a thing; an outline or contour: a lake in the shape of an hourglass. See Synonyms at form.b. Spatial form, contour, or appearance: The sandy coastline is always changing shape.
- a. The body or outward appearance of a person or an animal: saw two shapes walking toward her in the night.b. The contour of a person's body; the figure: a swimmer with a slender shape.
- a. A definite or distinctive form: Our discussion acquired the shape of an argument.b. Form, condition, or embodiment: How is your research project taking shape?c. A desirable form: a fabric that holds its shape.
- a. Assumed or false appearance; guise: a god in the shape of a swan.b. A ghostly form; a phantom: Shapes appeared in his bedroom at night.
- Something, such as a mold or pattern, used to give or determine form.
- a. The condition of something with regard to effectiveness, use, or appearance: What kind of shape is your car in?b. Bodily condition, as in regard to muscle tone or endurance: She's in great shape after working out for six months.
transitive verbshaped shaped, shap·ing, shapes
- To create or fashion, as:a. To give a particular form to (a material): shape the dough into baguettes.b. To create or configure, as from a material: a sculpture that was shaped out of ice.
- To cause to conform to a particular form: a pool that is shaped like an hourglass; a bone that is shaped to bear weight.
- a. To plan or devise: shape a new educational program.b. To embody in a definite form: shaped a folk tale into an opera.
- a. To influence in a formative way: experiences that shaped his identity.b. To direct the course of: “He shaped history as well as being shaped by it” (Robert J. Samuelson).
Origin of shapeMiddle English, from Old English gesceap, a creation.
- shap′a·ble, shape′a·ble
- shaped shaped
- The status or condition of something
- The used bookshop wouldn't offer much due to the poor shape of the book.
- Condition of personal health, especially muscular health.
- The vet checked to see what kind of shape the animal was in.
- We exercise to keep in good physical shape.
- The appearance of something, especially its outline.
- He cut a square shape out of the cake.
- A figure with unspecified appearance; especially a geometric figure.
- What shape shall we use for the cookies? Stars, circles, or diamonds?
- Form; formation.
(third-person singular simple present shapes, present participle shaping, simple past shaped or (obsolete) shope, past participle shaped or shapen)
From Middle English shap, schape, from Old English ġesceap (“shape, form, created being, creature, creation, dispensation, fate, condition, sex, gender, genitalia”), from Proto-Germanic *ga- + *skapą (“shape, nature, condition”), from Proto-Indo-European *(s)kep- (“to split, cut”). Cognate with Middle Dutch schap (“form”), Middle High German geschaf (“creature”), Icelandic skap (“state, condition, temper, mood”).
The verb is from Middle English shapen, schapen, from Old English scieppan (“to shape, form, make, create, assign, arrange, destine, order, adjudge”), from Proto-Germanic *skapjaną (“to create”), from the noun. Cognate with Dutch scheppen, German schaffen, Swedish skapa (“to create, make”).