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Shape appears in the following tongue twister:

  • Tie a knot, tie a knot.
    Tie a tight, tight knot.
    Tie a knot in the shape of a nought.

The following statistics are based on the British National Corpus, so they are representative for the British English.

Distribution of usage frequency for the most common synonyms of the noun shape:


Distribution of usage frequency for the most common synonyms of the verb shape:


Shape is sometimes a misspelling of shaggy.

The word shape is considered to be an easy one, according to the Dale-Chall word list, which includes 3000 words that all fourth-grade American students should know and understand.

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Definition of the noun shape

What does shape mean as a name of something?

Shape is one of the top 1000 most common nouns in the English language.

noun - plural: shapes

  1. any spatial attributes (especially as defined by outline)
  2. the spatial arrangement of something as distinct from its substance
    • example: geometry is the mathematical science of shape
    • lexical domain: Tops - unique beginner for nouns
    • synonym of shape: form
    • more generic word: attribute = an abstraction belonging to or characteristic of an entity
    • more specific terms:
      • solid = a three-dimensional shape
      • plane / sheet = an unbounded two-dimensional shape
      • natural shape = a shape created by natural forces
      • flair / flare = a shape that spreads outward
      • figure = a combination of points and lines and planes that form a visible palpable shape
      • line = a length (straight or curved) without breadth or thickness
      • angular shape / angularity = a shape having one or more sharp angles
      • round shape = a shape that is curved and without sharp angles
      • distorted shape / distortion = a shape resulting from distortion
      • amorphous shape = an ill-defined or arbitrary shape
      • connection / connexion / link = a connecting shape
      • circle = something approximating the shape of a circle
      • square = something approximating the shape of a square
      • triangle = something approximating the shape of a triangle
      • column / pillar / tower = anything that approximates the shape of a column or tower
      • plume = anything that resembles a feather in shape or lightness
  3. alternative names for the body of a human being
  4. a concrete representation of an otherwise nebulous concept
  5. the visual appearance of something or someone
  6. the state of (good) health (especially in the phrases `in condition' or `in shape' or `out of condition' or `out of shape')
  7. the supreme headquarters that advises NATO on military matters and oversees all aspects of the Allied Command Europe
  8. a perceptual structure
    • lexical domain: Cognitive Processes - nouns denoting cognitive processes and contents
    • synonyms of shape: form / pattern
    • more generic word: structure = the complex composition of knowledge as elements and their combinations
    • more specific words:
      • fractal = a geometric pattern that is repeated at every scale and so cannot be represented by classical geometry
      • gestalt = a configuration or pattern of elements so unified as a whole that it cannot be described merely as a sum of its parts
      • grid = a pattern of regularly spaced horizontal and vertical lines
      • kaleidoscope = a complex pattern of constantly changing colors and shapes
      • mosaic = a pattern resembling a mosaic
      • strand = a pattern forming a unity within a larger structural whole
    • part of: percept / perception / perceptual experience = the representation of what is perceived

Alternative definition of the noun shape


  1. The status or condition of something
  2. Condition of personal health, especially muscular health.
  3. The appearance of something, especially its outline.
  4. A figure with unspecified appearance; especially a geometric figure.
  5. Form; formation.

Specialised definition of the noun shape

Glossary of sports

the condition of someone's health or fitness (2006. Dictionary of Sport and Exercise Science. A&C Black Publishers Ltd)

Definition of the verb shape

What does shape mean as a doing word?

Shape is one of the top 1000 most common verbs in the English language.

verb - inflections: shaped | shaping | shapes

  1. shape or influence; give direction to
  2. make something, usually for a specific function
    • example: shape a figure
    • syntax:
      Syntactic formulaExample for the syntactic formula
      [Agent - being or machine] [Verb]Martha carves
      [Agent - being or machine] [Verb] [Beneficiary] [Product] for [Asset]The contractor will build you a house for $100,000
      [Agent - being or machine] [Verb] [Beneficiary] [Product] from / out of [Material]Martha carved the baby a toy out of a piece of wood
      [Agent - being or machine] [Verb] [Material] for [Beneficiary]Martha carved a piece of wood for the baby
      [Agent - being or machine] [Verb] [Material] into [Product]Martha carved the piece of wood into a toy
      [Agent - being or machine] [Verb] [Material] into [Product] for [Beneficiary]Martha carved a piece of wood into a toy for the baby
      [Agent - being or machine] [Verb] [Product]Martha carves toys
      [Agent - being or machine] [Verb] [Product] for [Asset]The contractor builds houses for $100,000
      [Agent - being or machine] [Verb] [Product] for [Beneficiary]Martha carved a toy for the baby
      [Agent - being or machine] [Verb] [Product] from / out of [Material]Martha carved a toy out of a piece of wood
      [Agent - being or machine] [Verb] [Product] from / out of [Material] for [Asset]Martha will carve a toy out of a piece of wood for $50
      [Agent - being or machine] [Verb] [Product] from / out of [Material] for [Beneficiary]Martha carved a toy out of a piece of wood for the baby
      [Asset - currency] [Verb] [Beneficiary] [Product]$100,000 will build you a house
      [Asset - currency] [Verb] [Beneficiary] [Product] from / out of [Material]$100,000 builds you a house out of sticks
      [Asset - currency] [Verb] [Product]$100,000 builds a house
      [Asset - currency] [Verb] [Product] from / out of [Material]$100,000 builds a house out of sticks
      [Material - concrete object] [Verb] [Product]This wood carved beautiful toys

      Verbs of Creation (with the same syntax): build, carve, cut, make, sculpt.

    • lexical domain: Creation - verbs of sewing, baking, painting, performing
    • synonyms of shape: forge / form / mold / mould / work
    • more generic terms: create from raw material / create from raw stuff = make from scratch
    • more specific terms:
      • carve = form by carving
      • swage / upset = form metals with a swage
      • chip = form by chipping
      • layer = make or form a layer
      • cut out = form and create by cutting out
      • machine = turn, shape, mold, or otherwise finish by machinery
      • grind = shape or form by grinding
      • stamp = form or cut out with a mold, form, or die
      • puddle = subject to puddling or form by puddling
      • beat = shape by beating
      • preform = form or shape beforehand or determine the shape of beforehand
      • preform = form into a shape resembling the final, desired one
      • mound = form into a rounded elevation
      • hill = form into a hill
      • roughcast = shape roughly
      • reshape / remold = shape again or shape differently
      • sinter = cause (ores or powdery metals) to become a coherent mass by heating without melting
      • mould / cast / mold = form by pouring (e.g., wax or hot metal) into a cast or mold
      • throw = make on a potter's wheel
      • hand-build / handbuild / coil = make without a potter's wheel
      • sculpture / sculpt = create by shaping stone or wood or any other hard material
      • model / mould / mold = form in clay, wax, etc
  3. give shape or form to
    • example: shape the dough
    • syntax: the same syntax as for the sense 2
    • lexical domain: Change - verbs of size, temperature change, intensifying, etc.
    • synonym of shape: form
    • more generic words: alter / change / modify = cause to change; make different
    • more specific terms:

Alternative definition of the verb shape


  1. [transitive] To give something a shape and definition.
  2. To manouevre something into a certain shape.
  3. (of a country, person, etc) To give influence to.


  1. Shape is a Marvel comics comic book character created by Mark Gruenwald.
  2. Shape is a fictional character in the 2007 film Pray.


  1. "Shape" is a song by English girl group Sugababes, released as the fourth and final single from their second studio album, Angels with Dirty Faces. It was composed by Sting, Dominic Miller, and Craig Dodds, who produced the song. The midtempo pop and R&B ballad incorporates a sample of Sting's 1993 recording "Shape of My Heart", whose vocals are featured in the chorus. It received mixed reviews from critics, who were ambivalent towards the sample of "Shape of My Heart".
  2. Shape a.k.a. Katachi: The music video of the Katachi song by Shugo Tokumaru.
  3. "Shape" is the second album from the Australian band Frente!, released in July 1996. The album was recorded in Spain in 1995 and produced by Cameron McVey and Ted Niceley. It was not as successful as their debut album..
  4. "Shape" is a musical single of Sugababes.
    • released on (12 years ago)
  5. "Shape", which is published by Netherlands-based DVS Records, is the first full-length album from Dynamic Lights. It contains 8 songs for a total listening time of about 60 minutes. Shape has been recorded at the beginning of 2004 at Fear Studio. The album features the concept of shape and shapeless.
  6. "Shape" is a musical album of Something Like Elvis.
    • released on (4 years ago)
  7. "SHAPE" is a musical album of Sleep My Dear.
    • released on (19 years ago)
  8. "Shape" is a composition.
  9. "Shape" is a composition.
  10. "Shape" is a composition.
  11. "Shape" is a song by Glasser.


  1. Shape: A shape is the form of an object or its external boundary, outline, or external surface, as opposed to other properties such as color, texture, material composition.
    • also known as צורה הנדסית, צורה גיאומטרית, Forma, Oblik, 形狀
  2. Shape Magazine is a monthly English language fitness magazine started by Weider Publications in 1981, founded by Christine MacIntyre and became the #1 women's fitness magazine. At that time, Weider Enterprises consisted primarily of the bodybuilding magazine Muscle & Fitness. Joe Weider and Christine MacIntyre had differing views of how to present Shape magazine, Weider endorsing a less journalistic and more commercial approach to articles, MacIntyre endorsing a more academic, doctor-based magazine. Weider also endorsed a sexier approach to editorial while MacIntyre endorsed a healthier look for women, eschewing sexiness in the models and the copy. MacIntyre largely won that battle, editing a magazine that required that every byline have an advanced medical degree, that cover models should look healthy rather than sexy, and that sexist language be avoided. Christine MacIntyre was the editor-in-chief until her death in 1988. Tara Kraft is the current editor-in-chief. Shape found a readership based on that formula.
  3. Shape: In the game of Go, shape describes the positional qualities of a group of stones. Descriptions of shapes in go revolve around how well a group creates or removes life and territory. Good shape can refer to the efficient use of stones in outlining territory, the strength of a group in a prospective fight, or making eye shapes so that a group may live. Bad shapes are inefficient in outlining territory and are heavy. Heavy groups cannot easily make eye shapes and are therefore good targets for attack. Understanding and recognizing the difference between good shape and bad is an essential step in becoming a stronger player.
  4. Shape: For solid oral dosage forms, shape of product.
  5. shape is an extension.
  6. Shape: Sign shape (ie. diamond, triangle, octagonal, etc.

Phrases with Shape

Phrases starting with the word Shape:

  1. shape up
  2. shape-up
  3. Shape note
  4. Shape Poem

Phrases ending with the word Shape:

  1. s-shape
  2. In Shape
  3. bell shape
  4. cone shape
  5. disk shape
  6. leaf shape
  7. take shape
  8. wave shape
  9. round shape
  10. wedge shape
  11. change shape
  12. convex shape
  13. curved shape
  14. funnel shape
  15. Out of Shape
  16. angular shape

View more phrases with the word Shape in thesaurus!

Printed dictionaries and other books with definitions for Shape

Click on a title to look inside that book (if available):

Google previewMathematics: A Practical Odyssey (2015)

by David B. Johnson, Thomas A. Mowry

p: A shape is a square. q: A shape is ...

Google previewMathematics for Elementary School Teachers: A Process Approach (2013)

by Mark Freitag

Let s represent “A shape is a square,” r represent “The shape is a rectangle,” and q represent “The shape is a quadrilateral.” Symbolically, we represent the argument as: s—>r r—>q '.s—>q This is logically correct because it is a hypothetical ...

Google previewNewnes Engineering Mathematics Pocket Book (2012)

by John Bird

The general equation of a quadratic graph is y : ax2 + bx + c, and its shape is that of a parabola. (iii) Cubic equations (see Chapter 35, page 177.) ...

Google previewHandbook of Experimental Phenomenology (2013)

Visual Perception of Shape, Space and Appearance by Liliana Albertazzi

Shape is the major route by which we gain knowledge about our visual world. All contemporary...

Google previewThe Wiley-Blackwell Handbook of Childhood Cognitive Development (2011)

by Usha Goswami

Nonetheless, the notion that words honor the ontological distinction between animate and inanimate has been called into question by studies suggesting that shape is a crucial component of children's semantic representations. On this view ...

Google previewPathophysiology for the Health Professions - E- Book (2014)

by Barbara E. Gould, Ruthanna Dyer

The aneurysm may take different shapes: a saccular shape is a bulging wall on one side, whereas a fusiform shape is a circumferential dilatation along a section of artery (Fig. 18-34). Dissecting aneurysms develop when there is a tear in the ...

Google previewAdvances in Image and Video Technology (2007)

Second Pacific Rim Symposium, PSIVT 2007 Santiago, Chile, December 17-19, 2007 Proceedings by Domingo Mery, Luis Rueda

Shape is a fundamental image feature and belongs to one of the most important image features used in Content-Based Image Retrieval. This feature alone provides capability to recognize objects and retrieve similar images on the basis of ...

Google previewThe Descartes Dictionary (2015)

by Kurt Smith

So, for example, shape is amode or modification of extension, where extension isthe attribute. Rather, unmodified inthis context refers to that which doesnot change when conceivingor considering various modes. Consider a finite body.

Google previewEncyclopedia of Marine Mammals (2009)

by William F. Perrin, Bernd Würsig, J.G.M. Thewissen

Figure 2 Fusiform body shape of marine mammals represented by (A) minke whale, Balaenoptera acutorostrata, (B) North Atlantic right whale Eubalaena glacialis, (C) harbor porpoise, Phocoena phocoena, (D) West Indian manatee, ...

Google previewA Dictionary of Symbols (2013)

by J. E. Cirlot

its shape, whether open or closed, regular or irregular, geometric or ...

Google previewEncyclopedia of Emulsion Technology (1987)

Basic Theory, Measurement, Applications by Daniel Schuster

proposed that microemulsions could theoretically exist in which the shape of the microcores does not necessarily have to be globular but possibly could be cylindrical [12]. This conclusion was reached on the basis that any ...

Google previewMaths Dictionary (1999)

by Steve Mills, Hilary Koll

A convex two- dimensional shape has all its vertices pointing outwards.

A cross-section is a shape made by cutting straight through something, like an apple or a tree. A cross-section of a triangular prism ...

Google previewSimiles Dictionary (2013)

by Elyse Sommer


Google previewInternational Encyclopedia of Ergonomics and Human Factors, Second Edition - 3 Volume Set (2006)

by Informa Healthcare, Waldemar Karwowski

The footwear shape and size are determined by a shoe last, a mould over which the footwear is constructed. The last, shown in Figure 1, comes from the old Anglo-Saxon word laest, which means a footprint or a foot track. As the shoe last is ...

Online dictionaries and encyclopedias with entries for Shape

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Photos about Shape

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If you need related images for an article or a report, you can download stock photos:
Small photo of Star shape flowerSmall photo of V Shape Face of asian woman smiling and point finger at her eyes, Natural makeup, Skincare and Cosmetology concept, isolated white backgroundSmall photo of a heart-shaped shape covered with melted dark chocolateSmall photo of Shape shaping from rosewood for sides of classical guitar. Hand made classical guitar. Guitar manufacturing.Small photo of Shape shaping from rosewood for sides of classical guitar. Hand made classical guitar. Guitar manufacturing.Small photo of Shape shaping from rosewood for sides of classical guitar. Hand made classical guitar. Guitar manufacturing.Small photo of Shape shaping from rosewood for sides of classical guitar. Hand made classical guitar. Guitar manufacturing. More...

Video language resources about Shape

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View more videos about In Shape, Shape Up, Shape note, Shape Poem, Out of Shape, Contest Shape, and Shape memory alloy.

See also the pronunciation examples of Shape!

Sign language

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Quotes about Shape

In the long run, we shape our lives, and we shape ourselves. The process never ends until we die. And the choices we make are ultimately our own responsibility. (Eleanor Roosevelt)
more quotes about shape...

Scrabble value of S1H4A1P3E1

The value of this 5-letter word is 10 points. It is included in the first and second editions of the Official Scrabble Players Dictionary.

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