Roget's 21st Century Thesaurus, Third Edition Copyright © 2013 by the Philip Lief Group.


It is a single round, low tower, shaped like the tomb of Cacilia Metella.

By heredity and discipline all minds are shaped to this great hour.

"Wait a minute," said Reid, his long, delicately shaped fingers trembling.

A Prairie-dog hole is shaped like a funnel, going straight down.

An oar has been made since I came in, wanting the shaped handle.

"But this was shaped like a sail," persisted Smith, staring again.

I began to feel the forces that had shaped my father's life.

They are about the size of a finger or thum, and their head is shaped somewhat like that of a horse.

Its head is shaped like that of the other kind; but its body is not so round, nor so pointed at the tail.

They are as perfect as though moulded and shaped out of wax.


Old English scapan, past participle of scieppan "to create, form, destine" (past tense scop), from Proto-Germanic *skapjanan "create, ordain" (cf. Old Norse skapa, Danish skabe, Old Saxon scapan, Old Frisian skeppa, Middle Dutch schappen "do, treat," Old High German scaffan, German schaffen "shape, create, produce"), from PIE root *(s)kep- a base forming words meaning "to cut, scrape, hack" (see scabies), which acquired broad technical senses and in Germanic a specific sense of "to create."

Old English scieppan survived into Middle English as shippen, but shape emerged as a regular verb (with past tense shaped) by 1500s. The old past participle form shapen survives in misshapen. Middle English shepster (late 14c.) "dressmaker, female cutter-out," is literally "shape-ster," from Old English scieppan.

Meaning "to form in the mind" is from late 14c. Phrase Shape up (v.) is literally "to give form to by stiff or solid material;" attested from 1865 as "progress;" from 1938 as "reform;" shape up or ship out is attested from 1956, originally U.S. military slang, with the sense being "do right or get shipped up to active duty."


Roget's 21st Century Thesaurus, Third Edition Copyright © 2013 by the Philip Lief Group.