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a. The characteristic surface configuration of a thing; an outline or contour: a lake in the shape of an hourglass. See Synonyms at form.
b. Spatial form, contour, or appearance: The sandy coastline is always changing shape.
a. The body or outward appearance of a person or an animal: saw two shapes walking toward her in the night.
b. The contour of a person's body; the figure: a swimmer with a slender shape.
a. A definite or distinctive form: Our discussion acquired the shape of an argument.
b. Form, condition, or embodiment: How is your research project taking shape?
c. A desirable form: a fabric that holds its shape.
a. Assumed or false appearance; guise: a god in the shape of a swan.
b. A ghostly form; a phantom: Shapes appeared in his bedroom at night.
5. Something, such as a mold or pattern, used to give or determine form.
a. The condition of something with regard to effectiveness, use, or appearance: What kind of shape is your car in?
b. Bodily condition, as in regard to muscle tone or endurance: She's in great shape after working out for six months.
tr.v. shaped, shap·ing, shapesPhrasal Verbs:
1. To create or fashion, as:
a. To give a particular form to (a material): shape the dough into baguettes.
b. To create or configure, as from a material: a sculpture that was shaped out of ice.
2. To cause to conform to a particular form: a pool that is shaped like an hourglass; a bone that is shaped to bear weight.
a. To plan or devise: shape a new educational program.
b. To embody in a definite form: shaped a folk tale into an opera.
a. To influence in a formative way: experiences that shaped his identity.
b. To direct the course of: "He shaped history as well as being shaped by it" (Robert J. Samuelson).
To develop into a particular form or condition: This is shaping into one of the biggest scandals of the century.
1. To turn out; develop: This ski season is shaping up to be the best in years.
2. To improve one's performance or behavior so as to meet a standard: Either shape up or ship out.
[Middle English, from Old English gesceap, a creation.]
shap′a·ble, shape′a·ble adj.
vb (intr, adverb)
1. informal to proceed or develop satisfactorily
2. informal to develop a definite or proper form
3. (Nautical Terms) US and Canadian (formerly) a method of hiring dockers for a day or shift by having a union hiring boss select them from a gathering of applicants
4. (Industrial Relations & HR Terms) informal US and Canadian a gathering of workers waiting to be hired for the day
5. the act of shaping up
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|Verb||1.||shape up - develop in a positive way; "He progressed well in school"; "My plants are coming along"; "Plans are shaping up"|
climb - improve one's social status; "This young man knows how to climb the social ladder"
leapfrog - progress by large jumps instead of small increments
develop - grow, progress, unfold, or evolve through a process of evolution, natural growth, differentiation, or a conducive environment; "A flower developed on the branch"; "The country developed into a mighty superpower"; "The embryo develops into a fetus"; "This situation has developed over a long time"