shape - definition in the American English Dictionary - Cambridge Dictionaries Online

Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “shape”

See all translations

shape

noun  us   /ʃeɪp/

shape noun (APPEARANCE)

[C/U] the particular way something looks as a whole: [U] Our table is oval in shape. [C] The birthday cake for Luis was in the shape of a heart. [U] These old sweatpants are all stretched out of shape (= changed from their original form). art [C/U] A shape is also an arrangement that is formed by joining lines together in a particular way: [C] A triangle is a shape with three sides. [C/U] A shape is also a person or object that you cannot see clearly because it is too dark, or because the person or object is too far away.

shape noun (CONDITION)

[U] (of a thing) condition, or (of a person) state of health: The city’s finances are in bad shape. I keep myself in good shape by running five miles a day. [U] Shape can also mean good physical condition: He’s in/out of shape (= in good/not in good condition). I try to stay in shape.

shape noun (FORM)

[U] the way something is organized; the general character or nature of something: The governor’s new program is finally beginning to take shape (= become better organized).

shape

verb [T]  us   /ʃeɪp/

shape verb [T] (FORM)

to cause something to have a particular character or nature; form: We’re worried that they will try to shape the issue in a way that doesn't reflect what’s really going on. He had a major influence in shaping the government’s economic policies.

shape verb [T] (APPEARANCE)

to make something look a particular way: Shape the dough into balls.
Phrasal verbs
(Definition of shape from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
What is the pronunciation of shape?
Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

Definitions of “shape” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day

extra time

a period of time in a sports game in which play continues if neither team has won in the usual time allowed for the game

Word of the Day

She’s got very good posture. (How we stand and sit)

by Liz Walter,
May 27, 2015
Recently on this blog, we looked at the words that we use to describe the way we move. This week we’re looking at words for describing our bodies when they are still, whether we are standing or sitting. Since most of us do far too much of this, let’s start with sitting.

Read More 

ancestral health noun

May 25, 2015
diet based on the presumed diet of our Palaeolithic ancestors ‘Ancestral health,’ to use a term popular among Paleo followers, has gone mass.

Read More