the quality of a distinct object or body in having an external surface or outline of specific form or figure.
this quality as found in some individual object or body form: This lake has a peculiar shape.
something seen in outline, as in silhouette: A vague shape appeared through the mist.
an imaginary form; phantom.
an assumed appearance; guise: an angel in the shape of a woman.
a particular or definite organized form or expression: He could give no shape to his ideas.
proper form; orderly arrangement.
condition or state of repair: The old house was in bad shape. He was sick last year, but is in good shape now.
the collective conditions forming a way of life or mode of existence: What will the shape of the future be?
the figure, physique, or body of a person, especially of a woman: A dancer can keep her shape longer than those of us who have sedentary jobs.
something used to give form, as a mold or a pattern.
Also called section. Building Trades, Metalworking. a flanged metal beam or bar of uniform section, as a channel iron, I-beam, etc.
Nautical. a ball, cone, drum, etc., used as a day signal, singly or in combinations, to designate a vessel at anchor or engaged in some particular operation.
to give definite form, shape, organization, or character to; fashion or form.
to couch or express in words: to shape a statement.
to adjust; adapt: He shaped everything to suit his taste.
to direct (one's course, future, etc.).
to file the teeth of (a saw) to uniform width after jointing.
Animal Behavior, Psychology. to teach (a desired behavior) to a human or other animal by successively rewarding the actions that more and more closely approximate that behavior.
Obsolete. to appoint; decree.
to come to a desired conclusion or take place in a specified way: If discussions shape properly, the companies will merge.
to assume a specific form: The plan is beginning to shape up.
to evolve or develop, especially favorably.
to improve one's behavior or performance to meet a required standard.
to get oneself into good physical condition.
(of longshoremen) to get into a line or formation in order to be assigned the day's work.
Idioms about shape
take shape, to assume a fixed form; become definite: The house is beginning to take shape.
- shap·a·ble, shape·a·ble, adjective
- outshape, 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, adjective
- un·shape·a·ble, adjective
- un·shap·ing, adjective
Other definitions for SHAPE (2 of 2)
Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers, Europe.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use shape in a sentence
A chrome-plated steel nib writes smoothly and holds its shape for years.No-fuss fountain pens that make your note taking and letter writing more elegant | PopSci Commerce Team | September 15, 2020 | Popular-Science
We quickly realized that indexing problems come in all possible shapes and sizes.
It is only connected to the collection of shapes and sounds that make up the word tree because we have all agreed that it is.The true love story in Elif Batuman’s The Idiot is a love affair with language | Constance Grady | September 11, 2020 | Vox
One of Howell’s own studies, she and her team reported online in August in mSphere, suggests that fungal species in particular shape the metabolites — and thus aroma and flavor — in wine from different growing regions in Australia.How does a crop’s environment shape a food’s smell and taste? | Carolyn Beans | September 10, 2020 | Science News
I think it helped us connect, not to compare struggles, they’re all different, but to connect with a lot of different people who are in that struggle for belonging in some way, shape or form.Pete Buttigieg Says Dems Did Not Coordinate to Seal Biden’s Primary Win | Nick Fouriezos | September 9, 2020 | Ozy
I mean, physically, mentally, you know, in every way, shape, and form.I Tried to Warn You About Sleazy Billionaire Jeffrey Epstein in 2003 | Vicky Ward | January 7, 2015 | THE DAILY BEAST
“Under Suleimani several military branches have taken shape [in Iraq] which are run by Iran and the Iranian military,” he said.What an Iranian Funeral Tells Us About the Wars in Iraq | IranWire | January 6, 2015 | THE DAILY BEAST
“You were going to work your way into my marriage and you were going to call its new three-way shape holy” the narrator recounts.
If you drink from a flute, do so from a tulip-shape one to concentrate the notes, Simonetti-Bryan says.
The Babadook is the shape of grief: all-enveloping, shape-shifting, black, here intensely, terrifying, then gone.
They are ovoid in shape, and lie in pairs, end to end, often forming short chains.A Manual of Clinical Diagnosis | James Campbell Todd
Leaves of a lanceolate form are the largest, and the shape of those found on most varieties of the American plant.Tobacco; Its History, Varieties, Culture, Manufacture and Commerce | E. R. Billings.
Microscopically, they are yellow or reddish-brown crystals, which differ greatly in size and shape.A Manual of Clinical Diagnosis | James Campbell Todd
Here the Goat, who evidently was not yet quite started, inquired, "Must all the halves be of the same shape?"Davy and The Goblin | Charles E. Carryl
He was Honour's self, till he brought the serpent to his bosom, in the shape of his perfidious son.The Pastor's Fire-side Vol. 3 of 4 | Jane Porter
British Dictionary definitions for shape (1 of 2)
the outward form of an object defined by outline
the figure or outline of the body of a person
organized or definite form: my plans are taking shape
the form that anything assumes; guise
something used to provide or define form; pattern; mould
condition or state of efficiency: to be in good shape
out of shape
in bad physical condition
bent, twisted, or deformed
take shape to assume a definite form
(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 prepare: to shape a plan of action
an obsolete word for appoint
- shapable or shapeable, adjective
- shaper, noun
British Dictionary definitions for SHAPE (2 of 2)
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
Other Idioms and Phrases with shape
In addition to the idiom beginning with shape
- shape up
- 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.