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English definition of “shape”

shape

noun uk   /ʃeɪp/ us  

shape noun (FORM)

B1 [C or U] the particular physical form or appearance of something: Clay can be moulded into almost any shape. These bricks are all different shapes. Kim's birthday cake was in the shape of a train. Our table is oval in shape. My bicycle wheel has got bent out of shape. This T-shirt has been washed so many times that it's lost its shape (= has become loose and lost its form). B1 [C] an arrangement that is formed by joining lines together in a particular way or by the line or lines around its outer edge: a round/square/circular/oblong shape A triangle is a shape with three sides. The children made patterns by sticking coloured shapes onto paper. [C] the physical form or appearance of a particular person or thing: In the story, Faust is tempted by the Devil, who has taken the shape of a man. Life on Earth takes many shapes. [C] a person or object that you cannot see clearly because it is too dark, or because the person or object is too far away: I could see a dark shape in the street outside. all shapes and sizes C2 many different types: We sell all shapes and sizes of teddy bear. Cars come in all shapes and sizes. in any shape or form of any type: I'm opposed to war in any shape or form.

shape noun (CHARACTER)

[U] the way something is organized, or its general character or nature: Technological developments have changed the shape of industry. We need to change the whole shape of our campaign.

shape noun (CONDITION)

B2 [U] condition, or state of health: He bought up businesses that were in bad/poor shape, and then sold them off bit by bit. "How are you?" "Oh, I'm in great shape." You're in no shape (= not in a good enough state of health) to go to work today. B2 [U] good physical condition: It's taken us five years to get our house into shape. She runs six miles every day to help keep herself in shape. I haven't had any exercise for weeks, and I'm really out of shape (= not in good physical condition).

shape

verb [T] uk   /ʃeɪp/ us  

shape verb [T] (CHARACTER)

C2 to decide or influence the form of something, especially a belief or idea, or someone's character: Many people are not able to shape their own destinies. My relationship with my father played a major part in shaping my attitude towards men. He was very influential in shaping the government's economic policy/strategy.

shape verb [T] (FORM)

to make something become a particular shape: The skirt has been shaped so that it hangs loosely. When you've made the dough, shape it into two loaves. formal to make an object from a physical substance: Early humans shaped tools out of stone.
Phrasal verbs
(Definition of shape from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
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