verb \ˈshāp\

: to give a particular form or shape to (something) : to work with (a material) in order to make something from it

: to influence the development of (something) : to help (something) become what it is

: to make (something, such as a plan) by a process of careful thought


Full Definition of SHAPE

transitive verb
:  form, create; especially :  to give a particular form or shape to
obsolete :  ordain, decree
:  to adapt in shape so as to fit neatly and closely <a dress shaped to her figure>
a :  devise, plan <shape a policy>
b :  to embody in definite form <shaping a folktale into an epic>
a :  to make fit for (as a particular use or purpose) :  adapt <shape the questions to fit the answers>
b :  to determine or direct the course or character of <events that shaped history>
c :  to modify (behavior) by rewarding changes that tend toward a desired response
intransitive verb
:  to come to pass :  happen <it's shaping up that I am known now for my husbands — Leslie Marmon Silko>
:  to take on or approach a mature or definite form —often used with up <the summer is shaping up to be one of the hottest on record>
shap·er noun

Examples of SHAPE

  1. The artist shaped the stone with a hammer and chisel.
  2. Schools shape the minds of future leaders.
  3. Ads help shape public opinion.

Origin of SHAPE

Middle English, from Old English sceapen, gescapen, past participle of scieppan; akin to Old High German skepfen to shape
First Known Use: before 12th century

Rhymes with SHAPE



: the form or outline of an object

: the condition of something or someone

: a physically strong and healthy condition

Full Definition of SHAPE

a :  the visible makeup characteristic of a particular item or kind of item <a cake in the shape of a Christmas tree>
b (1) :  spatial form or contour <the clouds kept changing shape>
(2) :  a standard or universally recognized spatial form <a stain in the shape of a perfect circle>
:  the appearance of the body as distinguished from that of the face :  figure
a :  phantom, apparition <eerie shapes floating in the mist>
b :  assumed appearance :  guise <a trick-or-treater in the shape of a pumpkin>
:  form of embodiment <our plans are taking shape>
:  a mode of existence or form of being having identifying features
:  a molded dessert; especially :  blancmange
:  the condition in which someone or something exists at a particular time <the car was in fine shape>
shaped \ˌshāpt\ adjective
in shape
:  in an original, normal, or fit condition <exercises to keep in shape>

Examples of SHAPE

  1. circles, squares, triangles, and other geometric shapes
  2. The cake has a rectangular shape.
  3. The pieces came in many different sizes and shapes.
  4. The pieces were sorted by size and shape.
  5. The cloud kept changing shape.
  6. The cake was rectangular in shape.
  7. I need to start exercising and get back in shape.
  8. I'm out of shape because I haven't been exercising.
  9. The players were in poor condition, but the coach quickly whipped them into shape.
  10. She stays in shape by exercising daily and eating well.

First Known Use of SHAPE

before 12th century


transitive verb \ˈshāp\   (Medical Dictionary)

Medical Definition of SHAPE

:  to modify (behavior) by rewarding changes that tend toward a desired response


Next Word in the Dictionary: shaped chargePrevious Word in the Dictionary: shapableAll Words Near: shape
May 24, 2015
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