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[sheyp-lee] /ˈʃeɪp li/
adjective, shapelier, shapeliest.
having a pleasing shape, especially with reference to a woman's figure.
Origin of shapely
1325-75; shape + -ly; replacing Middle English shaply, schaply; compare Old English gesceaplīce (adv.) fitly
Related forms
shapeliness, noun
unshapeliness, noun
unshapely, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for shapely
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • A shapely one he is, and strong, as e'er from cast was cast.

  • The hands and wrists of this lady were very white and shapely.

    The Market-Place Harold Frederic
  • A slight shake of Edith's small, shapely head served for answer.

    The Market-Place Harold Frederic
  • Even her hands, reddened and calloused by labor, were well kept and shapely.

    They of the High Trails

    Hamlin Garland
  • She did not raise her shapely head, but her glance was no dream thing.

    Victory Joseph Conrad
  • He knows the dainty step, the erect carriage, the shapely frame.

    St. Cuthbert's Robert E. Knowles
  • She was secretly pleased with his strong face and shapely head.

    The Lure of the Mask Harold MacGrath
  • Their figures were shapely and elegant, their hands slim and soft.

    Scottish Ghost Stories Elliott O'Donnell
British Dictionary definitions for shapely


adjective -lier, -liest
(esp of a woman's body or legs) pleasing or attractive in shape
Derived Forms
shapeliness, noun
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for shapely

"well-formed, having a regular and pleasing shape," late 14c., from shape (n.) + -ly (1). Related: Shapeliness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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