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Definition of “shape” - English Dictionary

"shape" in American English

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shapenoun

 us   /ʃeɪp/
  • shape noun (APPEARANCE)

[C/U] the ​particular way something ​looks as a ​whole: [U] Our ​table is ​oval in shape. [C] The ​birthdaycake for Luis was in the shape of a ​heart. [U] These ​oldsweatpants are all ​stretched out of shape (= ​changed from ​theiroriginalform).
art [C/U] A shape is also an ​arrangement that is ​formed by ​joininglines 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 ​seeclearly 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 ​physicalcondition: 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 ​generalcharacter or ​nature of something: The governor’s new ​program is ​finallybeginning to take shape (= ​becomebetterorganized).

shapeverb [T]

 us   /ʃeɪp/
  • shape verb [T] (FORM)

to ​cause something to have a ​particularcharacter 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 ​majorinfluence in shaping the government’s ​economicpolicies.
  • 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)







"shape" in British English

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shapenoun

uk   /ʃeɪp/  us   /ʃeɪp/
  • shape noun (FORM)

B1 [C or U] the ​particularphysicalform or ​appearance of something: Clay can be ​moulded into ​almost any shape. These ​bricks are all different shapes. Kim's ​birthdaycake was in the shape of a ​train. Our ​table is ​oval in shape. My ​bicyclewheel is ​bent out of shape. This ​T-shirt has been ​washed so many ​times that it's lostits shape (= has ​becomeloose and ​lostitsform).
B1 [C] an ​arrangement that is ​formed by ​joininglines together in a ​particular way or by the ​line or ​lines around ​itsouteredge: a round/​square/​circular/​oblong shape A ​triangle is a shape with three ​sides. The ​children made ​patterns by ​stickingcoloured shapes onto ​paper.
[C] the ​physicalform or ​appearance of a ​particularperson 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 ​seeclearly because it is too ​dark, or because the ​person or ​object is too ​far away: I could ​see a ​dark shape in the ​streetoutside.
all shapes and sizes
C2 many different ​types: We ​sell all shapes and ​sizes ofteddybear. 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.

expend iconexpend iconMore examples

  • shape noun (CONDITION)

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

shapeverb [T]

uk   /ʃeɪp/  us   /ʃeɪp/
  • 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 ​fatherplayed a ​majorpart in shaping my ​attitude towards men. He was very ​influential in shaping the country's ​economicpolicy/​strategy.

expend iconexpend iconMore examples

  • shape verb [T] (FORM)

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

"shape" in Business English

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shapenoun [U or S]

uk   us   /ʃeɪp/
the way that something is ​organized, or its ​generalcharacter or nature: the shape of sth Technological ​developments have ​changed the shape of ​industry. We need to ​change the whole shape of our ad ​campaign.
the ​condition something is in, or how ​strong something is: in good/great shape Our ​investments sailed through the recent ​downturn in fairly good shape with a ​diversifiedbase. in ​bad/​poor/terrible shapein no shape to do sth You should ​stay in bed; you're in no shape to go to ​work today.
(Definition of shape from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
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“shape” in Business English

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