shape | Meaning of shape in English with examples - infoAnew" /> shape" /> shape" /> shape definition" /> shape in a sentence" />

🤩 Discover new information from across the web

shape definition


This page has 15 definitions of shape in English. Shape is a noun and verb. Examples of how to use shape in a sentence are shown. Also define these 0 related words and terms: .



From Middle English shap, schape, from Old English ġesceap (shape, form, created being, creature, creation, dispensation, fate, condition, sex, gender, genitalia), from Proto-West Germanic *ga- + *skap, from Proto-Germanic *ga- + *skapą (shape, nature, condition), possibly from Proto-Indo-European *(s)kep- (to split, cut). Cognate with Middle Dutch schap (form), Middle High German geschaf (creature), Icelandic skap (state, condition, temper, mood).

The verb is from Middle English shapen, schapen, from Old English scieppan (to shape, form, make, create, assign, arrange, destine, order, adjudge), from Proto-Germanic *skapjaną (to create), from the noun. Cognate with Dutch scheppen, German schaffen, Swedish skapa (create, make), Norwegian Bokmål skape (create). Doublet of -ship.



shape (countable and uncountable, plural shapes)

  1. The status or condition of something
    The used bookshop wouldn’t offer much due to the poor shape of the book.
  2. Condition of personal health, especially muscular health.
    The vet checked to see what kind of shape the animal was in.
    We exercise to keep in good physical shape.
  3. The appearance of something in terms of its arrangement in space, especially its outline; often a basic geometric two-dimensional figure.
    He cut a square shape out of the cake.
    What shape shall we use for the cookies? Stars, circles, or diamonds?
  4. Form; formation.
    • 2006, Berdj Kenadjian, Martin Zakarian, From Darkness to Light:
      What if God's plans and actions do mold the shape of human events?
  5. (iron manufacture) A rolled or hammered piece, such as a bar, beam, angle iron, etc., having a cross section different from merchant bar.
  6. (iron manufacture) A piece which has been roughly forged nearly to the form it will receive when completely forged or fitted.
  7. (cooking, now rare) A mould for making blancmange, jelly, etc., or a piece of such food formed moulded into a particular shape.
  8. (gambling) A loaded die.
    • 1961, United States. Congress. Senate. Committee on Government Operations. Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, Gambling and Organized Crime: Hearings, page 76:
      A top cheater seldom ever uses shapes or loaded dice because they do not assure you of winning.
  9. (programming) In the Hack programming language, a group of data fields each of which has a name and a data type.



Derived terms


The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables. See instructions at Dictionary:Entry layout § Translations.

See also


shape (third-person singular simple present shapes, present participle shaping, simple past shaped or (obsolete) shope, past participle shaped or (archaic) shapen)

  1. (Northern England, Scotland, rare) To create or make.
    Earth was shapen by God for God's folk.
    • 1685, Satan's Invisible World Discoveredː
      Which the mighty God of heaven shope.
  2. (transitive) To give something a shape and definition.
    • 1932, The American Scholar, United Chapters of Phi Beta Kappa, page 227:
      The professor never pretended to the academic prerogative of forcing his students into his own channels of reasoning; he entered into and helped shape the discussion but above all he made his men learn to think for themselves and rely upon their own intellectual judgments.
    • 2013 August 3, “Revenge of the nerds”, in The Economist, volume 408, number 8847:
      Think of banking today and the image is of grey-suited men in towering skyscrapers. Its future, however, is being shaped in converted warehouses and funky offices in San Francisco, New York and London, where bright young things in jeans and T-shirts huddle around laptops, sipping lattes or munching on free food.
    Shape the dough into a pretzel.   For my art project, I plan to shape my clay lump into a bowl.
  3. To form or manipulate something into a certain shape.
    • 1718, Mat[thew] Prior, “Solomon on the Vanity of the World. A Poem in Three Books.”, in Poems on Several Occasions, London: [] Jacob Tonson [], and John Barber [], →OCLC, book II (Pleasure), page 437:
      Mature the Virgin was of Egypt's Race: / Grace ſhap'd her Limbs; and Beauty deck'd her Face: []
    • 2010 December 29, Mark Vesty, “Wigan 2-2 Arsenal”, in BBC:
      Bendtner's goal-bound shot was well saved by goalkeeper Ali Al Habsi but fell to Arsahvin on the edge of the area and the Russian swivelled, shaped his body and angled a sumptuous volley into the corner.
  4. (of a country, person, etc) To give influence to.
  5. To suit; to be adjusted or conformable.
  6. (obsolete) To imagine; to conceive.



Derived terms