First Name
in the U.S.
since 1880
Last Name
in the U.S.
in 2010
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How to Pronounce Shape

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Meaning and Origin

What does the name Shape mean? Find out below.

Origin and Meaning of Shape

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Webster's Unabridged Dictionary
verb Shape
  1. To form or create; especially, to mold or make into a particular form; to give proper form or figure to."I was shapen in iniquity." [Ps. li. 5.]"Grace shaped her limbs, and beauty decked her face." [Prior.]
  2. To adapt to a purpose; to regulate; to adjust; to direct; as, to shape the course of a vessel."To the stream, when neither friends, nor force, Nor speed nor art avail, he shapes his course." [Denham.]"Charmed by their eyes, their manners I acquire, And shape my foolishness to their desire." [Prior.]
  3. To imagine; to conceive; to call forth (ideas).(archaic)"Oft my jealousy Shapes faults that are not." [Shak.]
  4. To design; to prepare; to plan; to arrange."When shapen was all this conspiracy, From point to point." [Chaucer.]"I will early shape me therefor." [Chaucer.]

Etymology: OE. shapen schapen, AS. sceapian. The p. p. shapen is from the strong verb, AS. scieppan scyppan sceppan, p. p. sceapen. See Shape (n.)

verb Shape
To suit; to be adjusted or conformable.
noun Shape
  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.(Obs)"Look better on this virgin, and consider This Persian shape laid by, and she appearing In a Greekish dress." [Messinger.]
  6. [Iron Manuf]
    1. A rolled or hammered piece, as a bar, beam, angle iron, etc., having a cross section different from merchant bar.
    2. A piece which has been roughly forged nearly to the form it will receive when completely forged or fitted.

Etymology: 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

Other Dictionary Sources
  1. The spatial arrangement of something as distinct from its substance ("geometry is the mathematical science of shape")
  2. The visual appearance of something or someone
  3. Any spatial attributes (especially as defined by outline) ("he could barely make out their shapes")
  4. Alternative names for the body of a human being
  5. A perceptual structure
  6. A concrete representation of an otherwise nebulous concept
  7. The supreme headquarters that advises NATO on military matters and oversees all aspects of the Allied Command Europe
  8. The state of (good) health (especially in the phrases `in condition' or `in shape' or `out of condition' or `out of shape')
  9. Give shape or form to ("shape the dough")
  10. Shape or influence; give direction to
  11. Make something, usually for a specific function ("shape a figure")

From Middle English shap, schape, from Old English ġesceap (“shape, form, created being, creature, creation, dispensation, fate, condition, sex, gender, genitalia”), from Proto-Germanic *ga- + *skapą (“shape, nature, condition”), possibly from Proto-Indo-European *(s)kep- (“to split, cut”). Cognate with Middle Dutch schap (“form”), Middle High German geschaf (“creature”), Icelandic skap (“state, condition, temper, mood”).

The verb is from Middle English shapen, schapen, from Old English scieppan (“to shape, form, make, create, assign, arrange, destine, order, adjudge”), from Proto-Germanic *skapjaną (“to create”), from the noun. Cognate with Dutch scheppen, German schaffen, Swedish skapa (“to create, make”).

  1. The status or condition of something
    The used bookshop wouldn't offer much due to the poor of the book.
  2. Condition of personal health, especially muscular health.
    The vet checked to see what kind of the animal was in.
    We exercise to keep in good physical .
  3. The appearance of something, especially its outline.
    He cut a square out of the cake.
    What shall we use for the cookies? Stars, circles, or diamonds?
  4. Form; formation.
  5. (iron manufacture) A rolled or hammered piece, such as a bar, beam, angle iron, etc., having a cross section different from merchant bar.
  6. (iron manufacture) A piece which has been roughly forged nearly to the form it will receive when completely forged or fitted.
  7. (cooking, now rare) A mould for making jelly, blancmange etc., or a piece of such food formed moulded into a particular shape.
  8. (programming) In the Hack programming language, a group of data fields each of which has a name and a data type.

Notable Persons Named Shape

Shape is a comics character.


Notable Persons With the Last Name Shape

Shape is a comics character.


Where is the name Shape popular?

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Popularity of Shape as a last name

The map shows the absolute popularity of the name Shape as a last name in each of the states. See other popular names in Ohio, Pennsylvania, or North Dakota.

Common first names for Shape

Ethnicity Distribution

Ethnicity Shape U.S.
  White 89.44% 64.26%
  African American 4.93% 11.96%
  Asian, Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander 0.00% 4.85%
  American Indian and Alaska Native 0.00% 0.69%
  Two or More Ethnicities 1.76% 1.76%
  Hispanic or Latino 3.17% 16.26%

Of Last Name Shape

People with the last name Shape are most frequently White

Entire United States

Fun Facts about the name Shape

  • How Popular is the name Shape? As a last name Shape was the 69,170th most popular name in 2010.
  • How unique is the name Shape? Out of 5,933,561 records in the U.S. Social Security Administration public data, the first name Shape was not present. It is possible the name you are searching has less than five occurrences per year.
  • Weird things about the name Shape: Your name in reverse order is Epahs. A random rearrangement of the letters in your name (anagram) will give Ahesp. How do you pronounce that?
  • How many people have the last name Shape? In 2010, the U.S. Census Bureau surveyed 284 people with the last name Shape.
  • How likely are you to meet someone with the last name of Shape? Chances are, most people haven't met someone with Shape as their last name since less than 1 person in 1.0m people have that last name. If you know one, consider yourself lucky!

What Shapes Have Visited This Page?

Name poster for Shape

Name poster for Shape(click to save the high quality version)

Most Popular Names

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  • Sources:
  • U.S. Census Bureau: Frequently Occurring Surnames from the Census 2000 (public domain).
  • 1913 Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary via the Collaborative International Dictionary of English (License)
  • Other Dictionary Sources: WordNet 3.1 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University (License).
  • Wiktionary: Titles and License.
  • Notable persons via Wikipedia: Titles and License. Click each image for the attribution information.