What does Shape mean?

Definitions for Shape

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word Shape.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. shape, form, configuration, contour, conformationnoun

    any spatial attributes (especially as defined by outline)

    "he could barely make out their shapes"

  2. shape, formnoun

    the spatial arrangement of something as distinct from its substance

    "geometry is the mathematical science of shape"

  3. human body, physical body, material body, soma, build, figure, physique, anatomy, shape, bod, chassis, frame, form, fleshnoun

    alternative names for the body of a human being

    "Leonardo studied the human body"; "he has a strong physique"; "the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak"

  4. shape, embodimentnoun

    a concrete representation of an otherwise nebulous concept

    "a circle was the embodiment of his concept of life"

  5. form, shape, castnoun

    the visual appearance of something or someone

    "the delicate cast of his features"

  6. condition, shapenoun

    the state of (good) health (especially in the phrases `in condition' or `in shape' or `out of condition' or `out of shape')

  7. Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe, SHAPEnoun

    the supreme headquarters that advises NATO on military matters and oversees all aspects of the Allied Command Europe

  8. form, shape, patternverb

    a perceptual structure

    "the composition presents problems for students of musical form"; "a visual pattern must include not only objects but the spaces between them"

  9. determine, shape, mold, influence, regulateverb

    shape or influence; give direction to

    "experience often determines ability"; "mold public opinion"

  10. shape, form, work, mold, mould, forgeverb

    make something, usually for a specific function

    "She molded the rice balls carefully"; "Form cylinders from the dough"; "shape a figure"; "Work the metal into a sword"

  11. shape, formverb

    give shape or form to

    "shape the dough"; "form the young child's character"

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. Shapenoun

    Etymology: from the verb.

    He beat me grievously in the shape of a woman; for in the shape of a man, master Brook, I fear not Goliah with a weaver’s beam. William Shakespeare.

    The shapes of the locusts were like unto horses prepared for battle. Rev. ix. 7.

    The other shape,
    If shape it may be call’d that shape had none,
    Distinguishable in member, joint, or limb. John Milton.

    In vegetables and animals the shape we most fix on, and are most led by. John Locke.

    First a charming shape enslav’d me,
    An eye then gave the fatal stroke;
    ’Till by her wit Corinna sav’d me,
    And all my former fetters broke. Addison.

    Before the gates there sat
    On either side a formidable shape. John Milton, Paradise Lost.

    Thy heart
    Contains of good, wise, just, the perfect shape. John Milton.

  2. To SHAPEverb

    preter. shaped; part. pass. shaped and shapen.

    Etymology: scyppan , Saxon; scheppen, Dutch.

    I that am not shap’d for sportive tricks,
    Nor made to court an am’rous looking-glass;
    I, that am rudely stampt, and want love’s majesty,
    To strut before a wanton ambling nymph. William Shakespeare, R. III.

    Those nature hath shaped with a great head, narrow breast, and shoulders sticking out, seem much inclined to a consumption. Gideon Harvey.

    Mature the virgin was, of Egypt’s race;
    Grace shap’d her limbs, and beauty deck’d her face. Matthew Prior.

    The faultless form,
    Shap’d by the hand of harmony. James Thomson.

    Drag the villain hither by the hair,
    Nor age nor honour shall shape privilege. William Shakespeare, Tit. And.

    Mr. Candish, when without hope, and ready to shape his course by the East homewards, met a ship which came from the Philippines. Walter Raleigh.

    To the stream, when neither friends nor force,
    Nor speed nor art avail, he shapes his course. John Denham.

    Charm’d by their eyes, their manners I acquire,
    And shape my foolishness to their desire. Matthew Prior.

    Lovers and madmen have their seething brains,
    Such shaping fantasies that apprehend
    More than cool reason ever apprehends. William Shakespeare.

    It is my nature’s plague
    To spy into abuse, and oft my jealousy
    Shapes faults that are not. William Shakespeare, Othello.

    When fancy hath formed and shaped the perfectest ideas of blessedness, our own more happy experiences of greater must disabuse us. Boyle.

    I was shapen in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me. Ps. li. 5.


  1. shape

    Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE) is the military headquarters of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization's (NATO) Allied Command Operations (ACO) that commands all NATO operations worldwide. ACO's and SHAPE's commander is titled Supreme Allied Commander Europe (SACEUR), a U.S. four-star general officer or flag officer who also serves as Commander, U.S. European Command. SHAPE is situated in Mons, Belgium. Under the 2002 Berlin Plus agreement, SHAPE may also take part in the European Union's (EU) command and control structure as an operational headquarters (OHQ) for EU missions. In such an instance, the Deputy Supreme Allied Commander Europe (DSACEUR), who is always a European, would serve as Operation Commander (OpCdr). This use of SHAPE by the EU is however subject to a "right of first refusal", i.e. NATO must first decline to intervene in a given crisis, and contingent on unanimous approval among NATO states, including those outside of the EU.


  1. shape

    Shape refers to the form or outline of an object or figure, determined by its external boundary or edges. It can refer to the physical appearance or configuration of an object, as well as the arrangement and relationship of its various parts or elements. Shapes can have different characteristics such as size, proportions, symmetry, and contour, and they play a fundamental role in visual perception and communication.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Shapenoun

    to form or create; especially, to mold or make into a particular form; to give proper form or figure to

  2. Shapenoun

    to adapt to a purpose; to regulate; to adjust; to direct; as, to shape the course of a vessel

  3. Shapenoun

    to image; to conceive; to body forth

  4. Shapenoun

    to design; to prepare; to plan; to arrange

  5. Shapeverb

    to suit; to be adjusted or conformable

  6. Shapenoun

    character or construction of a thing as determining its external appearance; outward aspect; make; figure; form; guise; as, the shape of a tree; the shape of the head; an elegant shape

  7. Shapenoun

    that which has form or figure; a figure; an appearance; a being

  8. Shapenoun

    a model; a pattern; a mold

  9. Shapenoun

    form of embodiment, as in words; form, as of thought or conception; concrete embodiment or example, as of some quality

  10. Shapenoun

    dress for disguise; guise

  11. Shapenoun

    a rolled or hammered piece, as a bar, beam, angle iron, etc., having a cross section different from merchant bar

  12. Shapenoun

    a piece which has been roughly forged nearly to the form it will receive when completely forged or fitted

  13. Etymology: [OE. shapen, schapen, AS. sceapian. The p. p. shapen is from the strong verb, AS. scieppan, scyppan, sceppan, p. p. sceapen. See Shape, n.]


  1. Shape

    The shape of an object located in some space is a geometrical description of the part of that space occupied by the object, as determined by its external boundary – abstracting from location and orientation in space, size, and other properties such as colour, content, and material composition. Mathematician and statistician David George Kendall writes: In this paper ‘shape’ is used in the vulgar sense, and means what one would normally expect it to mean. [...] We here define ‘shape’ informally as ‘all the geometrical information that remains when location, scale and rotational effects are filtered out from an object.’ Simple shapes can be described by basic geometry objects such as a set of two or more points, a line, a curve, a plane, a plane figure, or a solid figure. Most shapes occurring in the physical world are complex. Some, such as plant structures and coastlines, may be so arbitrary as to defy traditional mathematical description – in which case they may be analyzed by differential geometry, or as fractals.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Shape

    shāp, v.t. to form: to fashion: to adapt to a purpose: to regulate: to direct: to conceive.—v.i. (Shak.) to take shape, to become fit:—pa.p. shāped, (B.) shāp′en.n. form or figure: external appearance: that which has form or figure: an appearance: particular nature: expression, as in words: a pattern: (cook.) a dish of rice, jelly, or the like cast in a mould and turned out when it has grown firm.—adjs. Shā′pable, Shape′able; Shaped, having a varied ornamental form; Shape′less, having no shape or regular form: (Shak.) effecting nothing.—ns. Shape′lessness; Shape′liness.—adj. Shape′ly, having shape or regular form: symmetrical.—ns. Shā′per, a metal planing machine, the tool with reciprocating motion; Shā′ping, representation, imagination.—Take shape, to assume a definite form or plan. [A.S. sceapan, scapan, to form, make; Ice. skapa, Ger. schaffen.]

Dictionary of Nautical Terms

  1. shape

    The lines and form of a vessel.--To shape a course. To assign the route to be steered in order to prosecute a voyage.

Editors Contribution

  1. shape

    A perceived visual form.

    She loved her body shape and it was part of her natural confidence.

    Submitted by MaryC on February 5, 2020  

Suggested Resources

  1. shape

    Song lyrics by shape -- Explore a large variety of song lyrics performed by shape on the Lyrics.com website.

Surnames Frequency by Census Records

  1. SHAPE

    According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Shape is ranked #69170 in terms of the most common surnames in America.

    The Shape surname appeared 284 times in the 2010 census and if you were to sample 100,000 people in the United States, approximately 0 would have the surname Shape.

    89.4% or 254 total occurrences were White.
    4.9% or 14 total occurrences were Black.
    3.1% or 9 total occurrences were of Hispanic origin.
    1.7% or 5 total occurrences were of two or more races.

British National Corpus

  1. Spoken Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'Shape' in Spoken Corpus Frequency: #1656

  2. Written Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'Shape' in Written Corpus Frequency: #2243

  3. Nouns Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'Shape' in Nouns Frequency: #583

  4. Verbs Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'Shape' in Verbs Frequency: #693

Anagrams for Shape »

  1. phase

  2. pesah

  3. heaps

How to pronounce Shape?

How to say Shape in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of Shape in Chaldean Numerology is: 4

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of Shape in Pythagorean Numerology is: 4

Examples of Shape in a Sentence

  1. Arya Sharma:

    This is a huge departure from this notion that you can step on a scale and diagnose obesity, this has nothing to do with size or shape or anything else. It's simply the question, is your body fat impairing your health ?

  2. Joe Manchin:

    No way, shape or form will( Alaska Senate Minority Leader) Mitch McConnell or Chuck Schumer not support Mitch McConnell or Chuck Schumer caucus. Alaska Senate just doesn't happen.

  3. David Bennett:

    For me the Blue Moon was always the blue diamond of my career. I've never seen a more beautiful stone - its shape, colour and purity. It's a magical stone.

  4. Read MoreThe actor:

    The struggles along the way are only meant to shape you for your purpose.

  5. Chief Design Officer Falvio Manzoni:

    The idea was to make the Roma's shape as simple as possible.

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for Shape

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

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