Origin of shape-up
Definition for shape up (2 of 2)
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
British Dictionary definitions for shape up (1 of 3)
verb (intr, adverb)
British Dictionary definitions for shape up (2 of 3)
- in bad physical condition
- bent, twisted, or deformed
Derived Formsshapable or shapeable, adjectiveshaper, noun
Word Origin for shape
British Dictionary definitions for shape up (3 of 3)
n acronym for
Idioms and Phrases with shape up (1 of 2)
Turn out, develop; see take shape.
Improve so as to meet a standard, as in The coach told the team that they'd better shape up or they'd be at the bottom of the league. This usage was first recorded in 1938.
shape up or ship out Behave yourself or be forced to leave, as in The new supervisor told Tom he'd have to shape up or ship out. This expression originated in the 1940s, during World War II, as a threat that if one didn't behave in an appropriate military manner one would be sent overseas to a combat zone. After the war it was transferred to other situations calling for improved performance.
Idioms and Phrases with shape up (2 of 2)
In addition to the idiom beginning with shape
- shape up
- bent out of shape
- in condition (shape)
- lick into shape
- take shape