Definition of


  1. (noun, tops) the spatial arrangement of something as distinct from its substance
  2. (noun, attribute) the visual appearance of something or someone
  3. (noun, attribute) any spatial attributes (especially as defined by outline)
  4. (noun, body) alternative names for the body of a human being
    he has a strong physique
    the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak
  5. (noun, cognition) a perceptual structure
    a visual pattern must include not only objects but the spaces between them
  6. (noun, cognition) a concrete representation of an otherwise nebulous concept
  7. (noun, group) the supreme headquarters that advises NATO on military matters and oversees all aspects of the Allied Command Europe
  8. (noun, state) the state of (good) health (especially in the phrases `in condition' or `in shape' or `out of condition' or `out of shape')
  9. (verb, change) give shape or form to
    form the young child's character
  10. (verb, cognition) shape or influence; give direction to
    mold public opinion
  11. (verb, creation) make something, usually for a specific function
    Form cylinders from the dough
    shape a figure
    Work the metal into a sword

via WordNet, Princeton University

Alternate forms of Shape

Derivations: shape, shapely, shaper, shaping

Hyponyms: adult body, amorphous shape, angular shape, angularity, beat, block, blow, bluntness, carry weight, carve, cast, chip, circle, coil, column, concaveness, concavity, connection, connexion, convexity, convexness, crookedness, crystalise, crystalize, crystallise, crystallize, cup, curvature, curve, cut out, decide, deform, dimension, dish, disincline, dispose, distort, distorted shape, distortion, draw, dullness, encircle, female body, figure, fit, fitness, flair, flare, flatten, fork, fractal, gestalt, grid, grind, hand-build, handbuild, hill, incline, index, indispose, individuate, juvenile body, kaleidoscope, keenness, layer, line, link, lobularity, machine, male body, miscreate, model, mold, mosaic, mould, mound, narrowing, natural shape, pace, person, physical fitness, pillar, plane, plume, predetermine, preform, puddle, remold, reshape, ridge, roll, roughcast, round, round off, round out, round shape, roundness, scallop, scollop, sculpt, sculpture, sharpness, sheet, sinter, sliver, solid, square, square up, stamp, straightness, strain, strand, stratification, strike, swage, tabulate, terrace, throw, tie, time, topography, tower, triangle, turn, twist, upset

Hypernyms: alter, appearance, attribute, body, cause, change, concrete representation, concretism, create from raw material, create from raw stuff, do, good health, healthiness, high command, make, modify, organic structure, physical structure, spatial property, spatiality, structure, supreme headquarters, visual aspect

Origin of the word Shape

  1. O.E. scapan, pp. of scieppan "to create, form, destine," from P.Gmc. *skapjanan "create, ordain" (cf. O.N. skapa, Dan. skabe, O.Fris. skeppa, O.H.G. scaffan, Ger. schaffen), from PIE base *(s)kep- "to cut, to scrape, to hack" (see shave), which acquired broad technical senses and in Gmc. a specific sense of "to crea… more
  2. O.E. gesceap "creation, form, destiny," from root of shape (v.)). Meaning "contours of the body" is attested from c.1393. Meaning "condition, state" is first recorded 1865, Amer.Eng. In M.E., the word also had a sense of "a woman's private parts." Shapely "well-formed" is recorded from 1382. more

via Online Etymology Dictionary, ©2001 Douglas Harper

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