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 up the summer is shaping up to be one of the hottest on record

shape

noun
plural shapes

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 The plan is starting to come into shape. — see also take 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 shape (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 Leaders can shape mindsets and reward transparency with encouragement. John Hall, Forbes, 6 June 2021 How those contrasting identities and experiences would shape his term as prime minister are questions of acute interest this week in Israel, where the nation is trying to make sense of a career marked by its rapid rise and shifting loyalties. Washington Post, 5 June 2021 Boundary lines can also shape a community’s ability to elect the representative of their choice. Laura Groch, San Diego Union-Tribune, 2 June 2021 The ruling, due within 90 days, could shape the future of capital punishment in California, which narrowly survived repeal efforts at the ballot box in 2012 and 2016. Bob Egelko, San Francisco Chronicle, 31 May 2021 This period of experimentation and adjustment will also shape how the Los Angeles Philharmonic will proceed with a more challenging task come fall, performances at Disney Hall, the 2,265-seat venue designed by Frank Gehry in downtown Los Angeles. Adam Nagourney, New York Times, 28 May 2021 During these steps, the brow stylist will shape and set the brows using the solutions. Kaitlyn Yarborough, Southern Living, 27 May 2021 Divide beef mixture into 4 equal portions, then gently shape each portion into ¾-inch-thick patty. Susan Selasky, Detroit Free Press, 26 May 2021 According to her, that troubling dynamic would shape her sense of self and her ability to relate to others for years to come. Kyv Editorial Staff, NBC News, 25 May 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The promo below from the Windows team, which turns the sunlight from the Windows logo into the shape of an 11 (with the horizontal bars removed from the window removed) is a pretty strong hint. Barry Collins, Forbes, 5 June 2021 Elephants frequently arrange their trunks into a periscope shape, for example, but the meaning of the conformation depends on circumstance. New York Times, 3 June 2021 Davis’ performances in the last two games were especially valuable in this regard, the All-Star forward serving as the team’s primary offensive weapon as James plays his way back into shape. Los Angeles Times, 28 May 2021 Paint freely on white construction paper that's folded into a card shape. Kelly Allen, House Beautiful, 27 May 2021 For the second straight offseason, Campbell threw himself into rehabilitation, working himself back into shape to be ready for the 2021 season. Joel A. Erickson, The Indianapolis Star, 19 May 2021 As the upcoming college football season’s TV schedule is coming into shape, oddsmakers are starting to release some early point spreads. Mark Heim | Mheim@al.com, al, 19 May 2021 My Fair Lady-ing her accent and Rocky-fying her body into action shape. Darren Franich, EW.com, 17 May 2021 Paschall, 24, has spent the past couple of weeks getting back into game shape. Connor Letourneau, San Francisco Chronicle, 13 May 2021

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

9 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Shape.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/shape. Accessed 19 Jun. 2021.

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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 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

More from Merriam-Webster on shape

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for shape

Nglish: Translation of shape for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of shape for Arabic Speakers

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