1. Character or construction of a thing as determining its external appearance; outward aspect; make; figure; form; guise; as, the shape of a tree; the shape of the head; an elegant shape. "He beat me grievously, in the shape of a woman." (Shak)

2. That which has form or figure; a figure; an appearance; a being. "Before the gates three sat, On either side, a formidable shape." (Milton)

3. A model; a pattern; a mold.

4. Form of embodiment, as in words; form, as of thought or conception; concrete embodiment or example, as of some quality.

5. Dress for disguise; guise. "Look better on this virgin, and consider This Persian shape laid by, and she appearing In a Greekish dress." (Messinger)

6. A rolled or hammered piece, as a bar, beam, angle iron, etc, having a cross-section different from merchant bar. A piece which has been roughly forged nearly to the form it will receive when completely forged or fitted. To take shape, to assume a definite form. In shape, having a good muscle tone; healthy. Get into shape, to exercise so as to acquire a good muscle tone.

Origin: OE. Shap, schap, AS. Sceap in gesceap creation, creature, fr. The root of scieppan, scyppan, sceppan, to shape, to do, to effect; akin to OS. Giskeppian, OFries. Skeppa, D. Scheppen, G. Schaffen, OHG. Scaffan, scepfen, skeffen, Icer. Skapa, skepja, Dan. Skabe, skaffe, Sw. Skapa, skaffa, Goth. Gaskapjan, and perhaps to E. Shave, v. Cf. -ship.

(01 Mar 1998)

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