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

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

There is a boat parade, which culminates in a ceremonial release of a wreath shaped like a broken anchor, in memory of the fisherman who lost their lives at sea. Cathy Alter, Washington Post, "Connecticut’s last commercial seaport — Stonington — shines in Mystic’s shadow," 7 June 2019 Runners covet the Disney medals, bling that’s shaped like the Millennium Falcon or Dopey as a reward for tearing all the muscle fibers in their legs for the challenge. Gabrielle Russon, orlandosentinel.com, "Disney designs first medal that’s not for its own running races. It’s for a Pulse memorial event.," 6 June 2019 The Iroquois neighborhood is a geographical oddity that's shaped like a jagged bow tie along Taylor Boulevard and New Cut Road. Maggie Menderski, The Courier-Journal, "A Day in the Neighborhood: Iroquois is an international smorgasbord of community," 6 June 2019 Police have put out a public plea asking people not to use cellphone cases shaped like guns after encountering one during a traffic stop and mistaking it for a real pistol. Chicago Tribune Staff, chicagotribune.com, "Daywatch: What's in the Illinois state budget, 75th anniversary of D-Day and other things to know to start your day," 6 June 2019 Each student also created a flower shaped like their hand and answered questions stating why our school should be chosen. Staff Report, Daily Southtown, "Community news: Frankfort students' Penny Wars fundraiser collects over $2K for pediatric cancer foundation," 6 June 2019 The only reminders of the Tubbs fire can be found through a lamp shaped like a fire extinguisher near the entrance of the restaurant and a horseshoe hanging over the bar that was recovered in the ashes of the former building. Justin Phillips, SFChronicle.com, "Return of the Starks: Willi’s Wine Bar reopens in Santa Rosa after Tubbs wildfire," 5 June 2019 Diana Smith, Arizona director of local chapters for American Institute of Architects, said her initial thought was the buildings were shaped like pinwheels. Jen Fifield, azcentral, "A bird's-eye view of these Glendale medical offices reveal resemblance to swastikas," 4 June 2019 Mingus says the line is inspired by her love of sharks and includes a lot of motifs to that effect, like trims shaped like shark bites. Glamour, "Selena Gomez Designed a Swimsuit With Her Surgery Scar in Mind," 1 May 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The county has nine more closed bridges on its books and dozens more in bad shape. Kristi Tanner, Freep.com, "FREE PRESS INVESTIGATION Thank heavens: They finally got their bridge fixed; many communities still suffer," 7 June 2019 This is not a series that glamorizes drug abuse in any way, shape or form. Susan Hornik, latimes.com, "About the other night: Zendaya, Storm Reid, Drake take in HBO’s ‘Euphoria’ premiere," 6 June 2019 Get in shape in July when your energy levels are high and physical fitness could be a higher priority. Tribune Content Agency, oregonlive.com, "Horoscope for June 5, 2019: Gemini, research major purchase first; Libra, watch restless urge," 5 June 2019 The Men in Blazers have jokingly stated the field is trapezoidal in shape. Patrick Brennan, Cincinnati.com, "With NYCFC match at Yankee Stadium coming, FC Cincinnati's no stranger to soccer on a baseball diamond," 5 June 2019 Harrison's YouTube channel, which has nearly 67,000 subscribers, includes detailed tutorials on how to keep gamers' fingers, wrists and forearms in top shape. Peter Holley, courant.com, "Carpal tunnel, back pain and social anxiety: Inside the injury-plagued world of professional gaming," 3 June 2019 Sports Illustrated’s 2019 class of swimsuit models are diverse in age, shape, size, and background. Fawnia Soo Hoo, Glamour, "These Women Have Spent Hundreds of Hours in Swimsuits. Here Are Their Tips for Getting the Perfect Fit.," 21 May 2019 The biggest difference between kettlebells and dumbbells is the shape. Amy Marturana, SELF, "10-Minute Total-Body Kettlebell Workout," 19 Apr. 2019 Most sizing charts for women assume an hourglass figure, and many women are not that shape. Alyssa Hardy, Teen Vogue, "Here's Why Clothing Sizes Are Inconsistent," 21 Dec. 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

13 Jun 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 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

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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