verb (used with object), shaped, shap·ing.
verb (used without object), shaped, shap·ing.
- 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.
Origin of shape
Synonyms for shape
Related Words for shapebody, silhouette, outline, format, pattern, frame, shadow, architecture, aspect, model, configuration, contour, fashion, carve, construct, embody, produce, build, forge, mold
Examples from the Web for shape
Contemporary Examples of shape
I mean, physically, mentally, you know, in every way, shape, and form.I Tried to Warn You About Sleazy Billionaire Jeffrey Epstein in 2003
January 7, 2015
The Babadook is the shape of grief: all-enveloping, shape-shifting, black, here intensely, terrifying, then gone.Grief: The Real Monster in The Babadook
December 19, 2014
Why the size and shape of a copper still is at the core of whisky distillation.When It Comes to Great Whisky, The Size of Your Still Matters
December 9, 2014
Nor is his face, or more accurately the shape of the hair that hides his face, easy to forget.How to Run a Statewide Campaign on $38
November 12, 2014
By pure chance I had been posted to Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers in Europe, SHAPE, on the outskirts of Paris.I Saw Nuclear Armageddon Sitting on My Desk
November 10, 2014
Historical Examples of shape
I'm sportively pretending that I can press it back into shape.
And six weeks after that I had things in shape so't I was able to leave.
But death will I choose, in any shape, rather than that man.Clarissa, Volume 1 (of 9)
Let us shape the hope of this day into the noblest chapter in our history.
But what if the thoughts themselves be of a kind hard to put into shape?Weighed and Wanting
- in bad physical condition
- bent, twisted, or deformed
Word Origin for shape
n acronym for
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."
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.
In addition to the idiom beginning with shape
- shape up
- bent out of shape
- in condition (shape)
- lick into shape
- take shape