Meaning of SHAPE in English


I. ˈshāp verb

( shaped ; shap·ing )

Etymology: Middle English, from Old English sceapen, gescapen, past participle of scieppan; akin to Old High German skepfen to shape

Date: before 12th century

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


a. : devise , plan

shape a policy

b. : to embody in definite form

shaping a folktale into an epic


a. : to make fit for (as a particular use or purpose) : 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

• shap·er noun

II. noun

Date: before 12th century


a. : the visible makeup characteristic of a particular item or kind of item

a cake in the shape of a Christmas tree


(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


a. : phantom , apparition

eerie shape s 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

• shaped ˌshāpt adjective

- in shape

Merriam-Webster's Collegiate English vocabulary.      Энциклопедический словарь английского языка Merriam Webster.