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

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English definition of “shape”

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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)
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