To lick into shape
Lick Lick (l[i^]k), v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Licked} (l[i^]kt); p. pr. & vb. n. {Licking}.] [AS. liccian; akin to OS. likk[=o]n, D. likken, OHG. lecch[=o]n, G. lecken, Goth. bi-laig[=o]n, Russ. lizate, L. lingere, Gr. lei`chein, Skr. lih, rih. [root]121. Cf. {Lecher}, {Relish}.] 1. To draw or pass the tongue over; as, a dog licks his master's hand. --Addison. [1913 Webster]

2. To lap; to take in with the tongue; as, a dog or cat licks milk. --Shak. [1913 Webster]

{To lick the dust}, to be slain; to fall in battle. ``His enemies shall lick the dust.'' --Ps. lxxii. 9.

{To lick into shape}, to give proper form to; -- from a notion that the bear's cubs are born shapeless and subsequently formed by licking. --Hudibras.

{To lick the spittle of}, to fawn upon. --South.

{To lick up}, to take all of by licking; to devour; to consume entirely. --Shak. --Num. xxii. 4. [1913 Webster]


The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • lick into shape — phrasal : to give proper form to : train or drill into orderly form a civilian can be licked into shape as a soldier by the manual of arms Dixon Wecter * * * lick into shape To mould into satisfactory form, from the notion that the she bear gives …   Useful english dictionary

  • lick into shape — ► lick (or knock) into shape act forcefully to bring into a better state. Main Entry: ↑shape …   English terms dictionary

  • lick into shape — knock/lick (something/someone) into shape to improve the condition of something or the condition or behaviour of someone. The prime minister s main aim is to knock the economy into shape. Little Sean is a bit wild but the teachers ll soon lick… …   New idioms dictionary

  • lick into shape —    If you make an effort to put someone or something into satisfactory condition or appearance, you lick them into shape.     I ve got to lick this place into shape before my in laws arrive …   English Idioms & idiomatic expressions

  • lick into shape — {v. phr.} To make perfect; drill; train. * /The sergeant licked the new volunteer army into shape in three months./ …   Dictionary of American idioms

  • lick into shape — {v. phr.} To make perfect; drill; train. * /The sergeant licked the new volunteer army into shape in three months./ …   Dictionary of American idioms

  • lick\ into\ shape — v. phr. To make perfect; drill; train. The sergeant licked the new volunteer army into shape in three months …   Словарь американских идиом

  • lick into shape — phrasal to put into proper form or condition …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • lick into shape — Meaning To make something work properly. Origin From the belief that bear cubs are born shapeless and have to be properly formed by their mother s licking …   Meaning and origin of phrases

  • lick into shape — idi +inf Informal. to bring to completion or perfection through discipline, hard work, etc …   From formal English to slang

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