Etymology: Middle English, from Old English sceapen, gescapen, past participle of scieppan; akin to Old High German skepfen to shape
Date: before 12th century
1. form, create; especially to give a particular form or shape to
2. obsolete ordain, decree
3. to adapt in shape so as to fit neatly and closely <a dress shaped to her figure> 4. a. devise, plan <shape a policy> b. to embody in definite form <shaping a folktale into an epic> 5. a. to make fit for (as a particular use or purpose) ; adapt <shape the questions to fit the answers> b. to determine or direct the course or character of <events that shaped history> c. to modify (behavior) by rewarding changes that tend toward a desired response intransitive verb 1. to come to pass ; happen <it's shaping up that I am known now for my husbands — Leslie Marmon Silko> 2. to take on or approach a mature or definite form — often used with up <the summer is shaping up to be one of the hottest on record> • shaper noun II. noun Date: before 12th century 1. a. the visible makeup characteristic of a particular item or kind of item <a cake in the shape of a Christmas tree> b. (1) spatial form or contour <the clouds kept changing shape> (2) a standard or universally recognized spatial form <a stain in the shape of a perfect circle> 2. the appearance of the body as distinguished from that of the face ; figure 3. a. phantom, apparition <eerie shapes floating in the mist> b. assumed appearance ; guise <a trick-or-treater in the shape of a pumpkin> 4. form of embodiment <our plans are taking shape> 5. a mode of existence or form of being having identifying features 6. a molded dessert; especially blancmange 7. the condition in which someone or something exists at a particular time <the car was in fine shape> • shaped adjective
New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.