shape-up

noun \ ˈshāp-ˌəp \
|Updated on: 10 Jul 2018

Definition of shape-up

: a system of hiring workers and especially longshoremen by the day or shift by having applicants gather for each day's selection; also : an instance of such hiring practice

First Known Use of shape-up

1940

in the meaning defined above

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shape up

verb

Definition of shape up

: to improve to a good or acceptable condition or standard of behavior
  • shaping up at the gym
: to bring to a good or acceptable condition or standard of behavior

Examples of shape up in a Sentence

  1. angrily told his son that if he didn't shape up, he'd be grounded for a month

  2. this group of summer interns is shaping up to be one of the best we've ever hired

Recent Examples of shape up from the Web

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

First Known Use of shape up

circa 1920

in the meaning defined at intransitive sense

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shape up Synonyms

Near Antonyms

backslide, regress;

Related Words

behave, regenerate;

better, improve;

Phrases

clean up one's act;


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