ship·​shape ˌship-ˈshāp How to pronounce shipshape (audio)
: trim, tidy

Examples of shipshape in a Sentence

I like to keep my car shipshape. Everything had to be shipshape before we could sell the house.
Recent Examples on the Web Freshly painted wood exteriors, a red door and white trim give the cottage a shipshape appearance. Lauren Beale, Los Angeles Times, 2 Sep. 2019 Not so shipshape America and European countries condemned Venezuela, after Rafael Acosta Arévalo, a captain in the country’s navy, died in custody just days after appearing in court, having apparently been tortured. The Economist, 6 July 2019 Indeed, Helena Bay’s atmosphere is more shipshape than Kiwi-convivial. Klara Glowczewska, Town & Country, 17 Jan. 2019 Embrace nautical decor head-on with shipshape accents. House Beautiful, 8 Jan. 2017 Spend your time tending to possessions and get everything shipshape. Jeraldine Saunders, The Mercury News, 3 May 2017 The homestead is once again shipshape and at present houses a resident cook and cook's family. Jamie Hale,, 20 June 2017 Before heading to the Naval Academy, La Jolla senior Dominick Wallace is looking for a shipshape end to his prep swimming career. Glae Thien,, 10 May 2017 Although the decks show signs of weathering and the engine control room still uses early 1980s technology, the vessel appears surprisingly shipshape. Andrew Lawler, National Geographic, 4 Jan. 2016

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'shipshape.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


short for earlier shipshapen, from ship + shapen, archaic past participle of shape

First Known Use

1769, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of shipshape was in 1769

Dictionary Entries Near shipshape

Cite this Entry

“Shipshape.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 13 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition


ship·​shape ˈship-ˈshāp How to pronounce shipshape (audio)
: being neat and orderly : tidy

More from Merriam-Webster on shipshape

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!