1 physical outline
ADJ. basic, simple The children cut the paper into various simple shapes. | characteristic, distinctive I recognized the distinctive shape of a Boeing-747. | curious, interesting, unusual, weird | awkward The desk was an awkward shape and wouldn't fit through the door. | original | geometric/geometrical, regular, symmetrical | complex | asymmetrical, irregular | odd, random tiles of random shape | solid, three-dimensional | aerodynamic | angular, arch, circular, cone/conical, cylindrical, diamond, dome, egg, elliptical, elongated, hemispherical, hexagonal, oblong, pentagonal, pointed, pyramid/pyramidal, rectangular, round, spherical, triangular, wedge | rounded, smooth | arrow, banana, cross, pear, star, T, etc. The road forms an L shape. The bruise was a sort of mushroom shape. | blurred, ghostly, shadowy, vague | huge, massive | black, dark, grey | human | body You can't change your natural body shape.
VERB + SHAPE cut out, draw, make, trace First draw the rough shape of your chosen animal. Fold the paper to make the shape of a cone. | cut sth into, make sth in, produce sth in a cheese similar to Brie but produced in a different shape | come in, have Tables come in various shapes. | assume, make, take on Ordinary things assumed different shapes in the mist. | keep, retain These garments will retain their shape even with repeated washing. | regain | change | lose | distort The wide-angle lens distorts shapes. | distinguish, make out, see I could just make out the shapes of animals in the field.
SHAPE + VERB appear, emerge, loom Ghostly shapes loomed out of the fog.
PREP. in the ~ of a doormat in the shape of a cat
PHRASES out of shape The bicycle had been battered out of shape. | oblong/rectangular/hexagonal, etc. in shape The island is roughly circular in shape.
2 structure/nature of sth
ADJ. general | changing | final | future
VERB + SHAPE alter, change, determine, influence He did much to determine the shape of Europe's political map at that time. | take A wonderful idea began to take shape in her brain. | give the words we use to give a shape to our feelings
PHRASES in any shape or form I can't stand insects in any shape or form. | the shape of things to come This revolutionary transport system could be the shape of things to come.
3 good or bad condition
ADJ. fine, good, great | bad, poor | physical He's 64, but he's in better physical shape than I am.
VERB + SHAPE get sb/sth into, knock/lick/whip sb/sth into Get your body into shape for the summer! Leave the boy with me?I'll soon knock him into shape! | be in, keep in, stay in You are in pretty good shape for your age. She likes to stay in shape. | be out of
ADV. profoundly Memory can be profoundly shaped by subsequent experience. | largely | actively, deliberately actively shaping the history of their country
VERB + SHAPE help (to)
PHRASES a part/role in shaping sth