shape

verb
\ ˈshāp How to pronounce shape (audio) \
shaped; shaping

Definition of shape

 (Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : form, create especially : to give a particular form or shape to
2 obsolete : ordain, decree
3 : to adapt in shape so as to fit neatly and closely a dress shaped to her figure
4a : devise, plan shape a policy
b : to embody in definite form shaping a folktale into an epic
5a : to make fit for (a particular use, purpose, etc.) : 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

1 : to come to pass : happen it's shaping up that I am known now for my husbands— Leslie Marmon Silko
2 : to take on or approach a mature or definite form often used with upthe summer is shaping up to be one of the hottest on record

shape

noun

Definition of shape (Entry 2 of 2)

1a : 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
2 : the appearance of the body as distinguished from that of the face : figure
3a : phantom, apparition eerie shapes floating in the mist
b : assumed appearance : guise a trick-or-treater in the shape of a pumpkin
4 : form of embodiment our plans are taking shape
5 : a mode of existence or form of being having identifying features
6 : a molded dessert especially : blancmange
7 : the condition in which someone or something exists at a particular time the car was in fine shape
in shape
: in an original, normal, or fit condition exercises to keep in shape

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Other Words from shape

Verb

shaper noun

Noun

shaped \ ˌshāpt How to pronounce shaped (audio) \ adjective

Examples of shape in a Sentence

Verb The artist shaped the stone with a hammer and chisel. Schools shape the minds of future leaders. Ads help shape public opinion. Noun circles, squares, triangles, and other geometric shapes The cake has a rectangular shape. The pieces came in many different sizes and shapes. The pieces were sorted by size and shape. The cloud kept changing shape. The cake was rectangular in shape. I need to start exercising and get back in shape. I'm out of shape because I haven't been exercising. The players were in poor condition, but the coach quickly whipped them into shape. She stays in shape by exercising daily and eating well.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The co-occurrence of these crises suggested that the Media Lab had, in a general way, lost its moral bearings in pursuit of money and public adulation, and amid the pressure to produce civilization-shaping new ideas. Noam Cohen, Wired, "Dirty Money and Bad Science at MIT's Media Lab," 16 Jan. 2020 Members of the public are also invited to in advance to help shape the conversation. Los Angeles Times, "KPCC and Los Angeles Times to Co-Host Debate with Candidates for L.A. County District Attorney," 15 Jan. 2020 There is one large, L-shaped one with the sink and three smaller ones by the range and refrigerator. James Dulley, Dallas News, "Refinish a countertop to look like real granite," 11 Jan. 2020 Those elections will help shape decisions over access to health care, climate change, tax policy, the economy, immigration and U.S. relations with foreign powers, including Iran and North Korea. Freep.com, "A second term for Donald Trump? Michigan is at the center of the political universe," 9 Jan. 2020 Judiciary Committee Democrats are working this weekend, and by Thursday could begin to draft the articles of impeachment that will shape debate in a Senate trial. Steve Geimann, Bloomberg.com, "House Panel Defends Impeachment Process From GOP Criticism," 7 Dec. 2019 Guests will be seated in the barrel room as Hammond discusses the wines and the weather that shaped them. Michael Alberty, oregonlive, "8 Oregon wine events to ring in 2020 with a sip and a swirl," 4 Jan. 2020 Next, familiarize yourself with the hand shapes that correspond with the four elements: fire, earth, air, and water. Aliza Kelly Faragher, Allure, "A Beginner's Guide to Reading Palms," 3 Jan. 2020 Bass went on to shape pop culture in other ways—sometimes unexpectedly. Michelle Delgado, Smithsonian Magazine, "The Magical Animation of ‘Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer’," 23 Dec. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The crust is thin enough to fold and flex, sturdy enough to hold its shape and crunchy enough to set up contrasting textures with the cheese, meat and sauce. Mike Sutter, ExpressNews.com, "52 Weeks of Pizza: Capo’s Pizzeria restaurant scores the first Worth a Drive rating of the series," 17 Jan. 2020 Although its shape remains much the same as its predecessor, the latest X6 is all new, from its angrier front end to its tall tail. Scott Oldham, Car and Driver, "The Right Amount of M," 14 Jan. 2020 Named from its shape and its rank as the first venue of its kind, PY1 was created by Lune Rouge Entertainment, a Canadian company that brings tech-savvy and artistic projects to life. Nicole Cormier, Dallas News, "Arlington is first U.S. stop for immersive traveling pyramid, PY1, presenting unique multimedia shows for the whole family," 14 Jan. 2020 On one side is Game of Thrones‘ Natalie Dormer as shape-shifting demon Magda, who believes humans will always succumb to their more monstrous temptations. Nick Romano, EW.com, "A new era of Penny Dreadful begins in first City of Angels trailer," 13 Jan. 2020 The Outsider, a shape-shifting monster similar to IT’s Pennywise, is able to take a person’s DNA and take on their form. Gina Vaynshteyn, refinery29.com, "The El Cuco Legend Guide You’ll Need For HBO’s The Outsider," 12 Jan. 2020 As usual, Monkman's work is graced by Miss Chief Eagle Testickle, his gender-fluid, shape-shifting, time-traveling alter ego who nimbly reverses the colonial gaze. NBC News, "17 LGBTQ art shows worth traveling for in early 2020," 10 Jan. 2020 Formally, calypso gives the novel its ballad shape; calypso also provides the deus ex machina happy ending. Dohra Ahmad, The New York Review of Books, "A Lark in West Indian London," 10 Jan. 2020 This device has been around for a few months as a prototype, but Lenovo is finally ready to release its shape-shifting laptop into the wild. Popular Mechanics Editors, Popular Mechanics, "CES Editors’ Choice Awards: The Most Exciting Tech for 2020," 9 Jan. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'shape.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of shape

Verb

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

Noun

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for shape

Verb

Middle English, from Old English sceapen, gescapen, past participle of scieppan; akin to Old High German skepfen to shape

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Time Traveler for shape

Time Traveler

The first known use of shape was before the 12th century

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Statistics for shape

Last Updated

24 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Shape.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/shape. Accessed 27 January 2020.

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More Definitions for shape

shape

verb
How to pronounce shape (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of shape

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: 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

shape

noun

English Language Learners Definition of shape (Entry 2 of 2)

: the form or outline of an object
: the condition of something or someone
: a physically strong and healthy condition

shape

verb
\ ˈshāp How to pronounce shape (audio) \
shaped; shaping

Kids Definition of shape

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : to give a certain form or shape to Shape the dough into loaves.
2 : to plan out : devise We shaped a winning strategy.
3 : to have great influence on the development of Teachers help shape the minds of future leaders.
shape up
1 : to develop in a particular way This is shaping up to be an exciting trip.
2 : to improve in behavior or condition

Other Words from shape

shaper noun

shape

noun

Kids Definition of shape (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : outward appearance : the form or outline of something the shape of a pear circles, squares, and other shapes
2 : definite arrangement and form The plan is finally taking shape.
3 : condition entry 1 sense 1 The car is in poor shape.
4 : a physically fit condition She keeps in shape by exercising.

Other Words from shape

shaped \ ˌshāpt \ adjective a heart-shaped cookie
\ ˈshāp How to pronounce shape (audio) \
shaped; shaping

Medical Definition of shape

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

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More from Merriam-Webster on shape

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for shape

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with shape

Spanish Central: Translation of shape

Nglish: Translation of shape for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of shape for Arabic Speakers

Comments on shape

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