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.
- shape note,
- shape up,
- shape-note singing,
Origin of shape
Examples from the Web for shapes
Thinking about, with all that is in the past and the way it shapes the present, how do you go forward into the future?
Peggy has a reputation for miraculously fitting women of all shapes and sizes, and she more than lives up to it.
Who shapes what the public comes to see as truth, and how truthful is that truth?How the ‘Witch Hunt’ Myth Undermined American Justice|Jason Berry|July 12, 2014|DAILY BEAST
It shapes the beliefs of everyone, but gives power to the those of the favored group.
Forming the shapes of the Lincoln Memorial and a cannon among others, Buckeye fans got an entertaining and educational show.Exploding Whale, Black Friday and More Viral Videos|The Daily Beast Video|November 30, 2013|DAILY BEAST
As the skill increases, shapes with double curves and long or narrow necks may eventually be achieved.Pottery, for Artists Craftsmen & Teachers|George J. Cox
So may have looked afrites or the shapes metamorphosed from the vapour of the fisherman's vase.Roads of Destiny|O. Henry
The same law that shapes the earth and the stars shapes the snowflake.The Log of the Sun|William Beebe
The shapes and faces that the hills of sand built round him were the play of excited fancy only.Four Weird Tales|Algernon Blackwood
The shore was strewn with timber and pieces of plank of all shapes.The Rival Crusoes|W.H.G. Kingston
- 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