Meaning of SHAPE in English



1. the shape of something or someone

2. having a particular shape

3. having a strange or wrong shape

4. having no clear or exact shape

5. having a regular shape

6. having a shape that is not regular


see also



1. the shape of something or someone

▷ shape /ʃeɪp/ [countable/uncountable noun]

the shape that something is, for example a square, a circle etc :

▪ You can get pasta in lots of different shapes.

▪ What shape is the swimming pool?

▪ The fruits are similar in shape and size to plums.

▪ The desks form a U-shape, so that the teacher can interact easily with the students.

▪ The pool was custom built, it is an unusual shape.

▪ If a mole changes color or shape, see a doctor.

▷ form /fɔːʳm/ [countable noun]

the shape of something - use this especially to talk about art or when the shape is not very clear :

▪ Sleeping forms lay in groups and rows on the earth floor.

▪ The painting consists of a series of interlocking forms.

▷ figure /ˈfɪgəʳǁˈfɪgjər/ [countable noun]

the shape of a person :

▪ There were figures painted on the walls of the cave.

▪ Dark figures emerged from the building, and disappeared into the night.

figure of

▪ I saw the figure of a woman below the bridge.

▷ silhouette /ˌsɪluˈet/ [countable noun]

the dark shape of something or someone seen against a bright background :

▪ The trees were silhouettes in the morning fog.

silhouette of

▪ I saw the silhouette of someone waiting under the streetlight.

▷ profile /ˈprəʊfaɪl/ [countable noun]

the shape of someone’s face when seen from the side :

▪ an artist’s sketch of McMillan’s profile

▪ He sat by the window, his handsome profile outlined against the sky.

in profile

▪ They showed her a photo of a young brunette, taken in profile.

▷ outline /ˈaʊtlaɪn/ [countable noun]

a line around the edge of something that shows its shape :

outline of

▪ The outline of a footprint was visible in the snow.

▪ On the envelopes had been stamped the outlines of Santa Claus, holly, and a reindeer.

▷ contour /ˈkɒntʊəʳǁˈkɑːn-/ [countable noun]

the outer shape of something, that has a lot of curves, especially an area of land or a person’s body :

▪ The seat is adjustable to fit the contours of your back.

▪ A topographical map shows the contours of the earth’s surface.

▷ lines /laɪnz/ [plural noun]

the outer shape of something long or tall, especially something that looks very graceful or attractive :

▪ The dress’s flowing lines are attractive on most women.

lines of

▪ He noticed the long, slim lines of her legs beneath the colorful cotton skirt.

2. having a particular shape

▷ be round/square/rectangular etc /biː ˈraʊnd/ [verb phrase]

use this to say what shape something is :

▪ The windows were round, like the windows on a ship.

▪ ‘What shape is the table?’ ‘It’s long and rectangular.’

be round/square etc in shape

▪ There was another building, octagonal in shape, close by.

▷ shaped /ʃeɪpt/ [adjective]

use this to say that something has the same shape as something else :

star-shaped/heart-shaped/L-shaped etc

▪ He gave me a necklace with a heart-shaped locket.

▪ Gus lived in an apartment in a U-shaped courtyard.

shaped like

▪ On the table were salt and pepper shakers shaped like teddy bears.

▷ in the shape of something /ɪn ðə ˈʃeɪp əv something/ [preposition]

use this to say that something has the same shape as something else :

▪ a beautiful blue bowl in the shape of a flower

▪ There was a big chocolate cake in the shape of a heart on the main table.

3. having a strange or wrong shape

▷ deformed /dɪˈfɔːʳmd/ [adjective]

something that is deformed, especially part of a living thing, has the wrong shape, usually because it has grown or developed wrongly :

▪ She had survived polio, but her right leg was weak and deformed.

▪ The desert plants were strange deformed bushes with bizarrely twisted branches.

deformity [countable/uncountable noun]

▪ The drug was shown to cause deformity in a high proportion of babies born to mothers taking it.

▷ distorted /dɪˈstɔːʳtɪd, dɪˈstɔːʳtəd/ [adjective]

something that is distorted has been twisted out of its correct or original shape :

▪ As a result of the crash, the remains of the vehicles were distorted out of all recognition.

▪ After treatment, her distorted hip had straightened, so that her legs were the same length.

▷ misshapen /ˌmɪsˈʃeɪpən, mɪˈʃeɪ-/ [adjective]

having the wrong shape, usually because of growing that way over a long period of time :

▪ The old woman’s fingers were misshapen and useless.

▪ Misshapen carrots and potatoes were fed to the pigs.

▷ lopsided /ˌlɒpˈsaɪdɪd◂, ˌlɒpˈsaɪdəd◂ǁˌlɑːp-/ [adjective]

something that is lopsided does not have the same shape on each side, for example because one side is higher than the other :

▪ She gave me a lopsided smile.

▪ a note written in a child’s lopsided handwriting

▪ His whole face was lopsided, one cheek badly scarred.

▷ lose its shape /ˌluːz ɪts ˈʃeɪp/ [verb phrase] especially British

if something such as a hat, coat, or skirt loses its shape, it becomes the wrong shape because it has been worn a lot :

▪ His battered old hat had completely lost its shape.

▪ She was wearing an old jumper that had lost its shape.

4. having no clear or exact shape

▷ shapeless /ˈʃeɪpləs/ [adjective]

something, especially a piece of clothing, that is shapeless has no clear or definite shape, and often looks unattractive :

▪ He was wearing a shapeless grey coat which really did not fit him.

▪ People trudged on, carrying shapeless bundles full of clothes or bedding.

▷ amorphous /əˈmɔːʳfəs/ [adjective] formal

having no definite shape that can be described or recognized because everything you can see is unclear or is mixed together :

▪ The molten rock hardens into amorphous forms.

▪ In her later works, large, amorphous shapes seem to float on the canvas.

5. having a regular shape

▷ regular /ˈregjɑləʳ/ [adjective]

evenly shaped with parts or sides of equal size :

▪ Draw a regular hexagon with 90 mm sides.

▪ She was attractive rather than beautiful, with regular features and dark hair.

▷ symmetrical /sɪˈmetrɪk ə l/ [adjective]

if something is symmetrical, its two halves, on either side of a central line, are exactly alike :

▪ The leaves of most trees are symmetrical in shape.

▪ Palladio built the Villa Rotunda following a symmetrical plan.

symmetry /ˈsɪmɪtri, ˈsɪmətri/ [uncountable noun]

▪ the delicate symmetry of a snowflake

6. having a shape that is not regular

▷ irregular /ɪˈregjɑləʳ/ [adjective]

unevenly shaped with parts or sides of unequal size :

▪ Lake Powell’s irregular coastline has many unspoiled beaches and secluded inlets.

▪ I recognized the doctor’s messy, irregular handwriting.

irregularly [adjective]

▪ a large, irregularly shaped room

▷ asymmetrical /ˌeɪsɪˈmetrɪk ə l, ˌeɪsəˈmetrɪk ə l/ [adjective]

if something is asymmetrical, one half of it is not the same as the other - used in formal and technical contexts :

▪ The design of the house is consciously asymmetrical with a large tower at one end.

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