shape

verb
\ ˈshāp \
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 up the 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 \ 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 occultation revealed that Ultima Thule is either shaped like a rubber duck, looking a bit like two mounds squashed together. Loren Grush, The Verge, "On New Year’s Day, a spacecraft will zoom by the most distant object humanity has ever visited," 27 Dec. 2018 Different personal histories of antibiotic use, along with environmental factors and genetics, also shape microbial ecosystems in drastically different ways from person to person. Kiona N. Smith, Ars Technica, "Medieval dental plaque sheds light on how our microbiomes have changed," 25 Nov. 2018 These factors all play into the authenticity of the transformations, and helped shape the exciting final product. Lucia Tonelli, ELLE Decor, "Three San Diego Bungalows Are Transformed Into Vibrant, History-Filled Getaways," 3 Oct. 2018 But last week, startup Undercover Colors broke from the pack with the release of its first portable test, a device shaped like a small medallion that retails for $5 to $7. Jenny Hollander, Marie Claire, "Undercover Colors' Date Rape Drug Test Tells You in 60 Seconds If Your Drink Was Drugged," 13 Sep. 2018 All relevant results are ultimately passed on to each country’s ministry of health to help shape future changes in policy. Katherine J. Wu, Smithsonian, "A Never-Before-Seen Virus Has Been Detected in Myanmar’s Bats," 11 July 2018 Stir’s centerpiece will be a striking sculptural element, shaped in Douglas fir and flowing in form, that extends across the ceiling above the main dining room. Michael Klein, Philly.com, "Architect Frank Gehry to design Art Museum restaurant," 10 July 2018 Above all, the Tulsa Experiment – an experiment in which the participants shape the outcome – is an attempt to restore the American Dream to those perhaps least able to hold onto its promise. Simon Montlake, The Christian Science Monitor, "For three families, Tulsa experiment offers chance to grasp American dream," 3 July 2018 For more than 70 years, Tate, now 90, has helped shape South Florida and the world beyond. Jane Wooldridge, miamiherald, "This Miami man created the Florida prepaid college plan. He also owned Studio 54.," 2 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The curvy top looks almost like a wine corkscrew, while the circular center slides snugly into the outer C-shape. Maddie Hiatt, House Beautiful, "This Faucet May Be the Chicest One We've Ever Seen," 1 Feb. 2019 This is, in fact, a tattoo of Hadid — or someone directly related to her, with a very similar eye shape. 2). Samantha Sasso, refinery29.com, "Confirmed: Zayn Malik's Buzziest Tattoo Is A Tribute To Gigi Hadid," 5 July 2018 The mix of low price pressures and steady wage gains appears to leave consumers in good shape. Harriet Torry, WSJ, "U.S. Consumer Prices Ticked Lower in December," 11 Jan. 2019 Unless those year-over-year numbers start dipping precipitously, Valve's industry-leading platform is still probably in pretty good shape. Kyle Orland, Ars Technica, "Steam sees surprising, significant usage dip in 2018," 1 Aug. 2018 Judo Adults and children can learn new skills, get in shape, gain self-confidence and self-discipline. Mary Lou Cruz, Sun-Sentinel.com, "Deerfield Beach area events July 18-28," 13 July 2018 Rescue dogs of all shapes, sizes and ages are welcome. Kelli Bender, PEOPLE.com, "Do You Have the World's Cutest Rescue Dog? People and Pedigree Want to Turn Them Into a Star!," 10 July 2018 America is still beautiful for stocks Still, according to the BlackRock team, many stocks—especially those of U.S. companies—are in good shape to weather any choppiness ahead. Matthew Heimer, Fortune, "Here’s What the World’s Biggest Investor Thinks the Markets Will Do Next," 9 July 2018 If a player is only as good as their first impression, then Greer is in good shape. Andrew Turner, latimes.com, "Daily Pilot Softball Dream Team: Unexpected year from Kelli Kufta kept Huntington Beach strong," 8 July 2018

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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Statistics for shape

Last Updated

7 Feb 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for shape

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

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More Definitions for shape

shape

verb

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 \
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 \
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

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with shape

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for 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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