Idioms

    take shape, to assume a fixed form; become definite: The house is beginning to take shape.

Origin of shape

before 900; (noun) Middle English; Old English gesceapu (plural); replacing dial. shap, Middle English; Old English gesceap (singular); cognate with Old Norse skap state, mood; (v.) Middle English; Old English sceapen (past participle); replacing Middle English sheppe, shippe, Old English sceppan, scyppan; cognate with German schaffen, Old Norse skepja, Gothic -skapjan to make
Related formsshap·a·ble, shape·a·ble, adjectiveout·shape, verb (used with object), out·shaped, out·shap·ing.pre·shape, noun, verb (used with object), pre·shaped, pre·shap·ing.trans·shape, verb (used with object), trans·shaped, trans·shap·ing.un·shap·a·ble, adjectiveun·shape·a·ble, adjectiveun·shap·ing, adjective

Synonyms for shape

1. silhouette, appearance. See form. 4. specter, illusion. 7. order, pattern. 8. order, situation. 14. mold, model.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for preshaped

shape

noun

the outward form of an object defined by outline
the figure or outline of the body of a person
a phantom
organized or definite formmy plans are taking shape
the form that anything assumes; guise
something used to provide or define form; pattern; mould
condition or state of efficiencyto be in good shape
out of shape
  1. in bad physical condition
  2. bent, twisted, or deformed
take shape to assume a definite form

verb

(when intr, often foll by into or up) to receive or cause to receive shape or form
(tr) to mould into a particular pattern or form; modify
(tr) to plan, devise, or prepareto shape a plan of action
an obsolete word for appoint
Derived Formsshapable or shapeable, adjectiveshaper, noun

Word Origin for shape

Old English gesceap, literally: that which is created, from scieppan to create; related to sceap sexual organs, Old Norse skap destiny, Old High German scaf form

SHAPE

n acronym for

Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe
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

Word Origin and History for preshaped

shape

v.

Old English scapan, past participle of scieppan "to create, form, destine" (past tense scop), from Proto-Germanic *skapjanan "create, ordain" (cf. Old Norse skapa, Danish skabe, Old Saxon scapan, Old Frisian skeppa, Middle Dutch schappen "do, treat," Old High German scaffan, German schaffen "shape, create, produce"), from PIE root *(s)kep- a base forming words meaning "to cut, scrape, hack" (see scabies), which acquired broad technical senses and in Germanic a specific sense of "to create."

Old English scieppan survived into Middle English as shippen, but shape emerged as a regular verb (with past tense shaped) by 1500s. The old past participle form shapen survives in misshapen. Middle English shepster (late 14c.) "dressmaker, female cutter-out," is literally "shape-ster," from Old English scieppan.

Meaning "to form in the mind" is from late 14c. Phrase Shape up (v.) is literally "to give form to by stiff or solid material;" attested from 1865 as "progress;" from 1938 as "reform;" shape up or ship out is attested from 1956, originally U.S. military slang, with the sense being "do right or get shipped up to active duty."

shape

n.

Old English sceap, gesceap "form; created being, creature; creation; condition; sex, genitalia," from root of shape (v.)). Meaning "contours of the body" is attested from late 14c. Meaning "condition, state" is first recorded 1865, American English. In Middle English, the word in plural also had a sense of "a woman's private parts." Shape-shifter attested from 1820. Out of shape "not in proper shape" is from 1690s. Shapesmith "one who undertakes to improve the form of the body" was used in 1715.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with preshaped

shape

In addition to the idiom beginning with shape

  • shape up

also see:

  • bent out of shape
  • in condition (shape)
  • lick into shape
  • take shape
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.