1. a rich, flaky pastry made with yeast, in which the process of rolling the dough, dotting it with shortening, and folding it is repeated several times before it is pulled into small pieces and baked.
Ex. Fragile, fruity Danish pastry in cunning shapes (Maclean's).
2. a piece of this pastry.
shape, noun, verb, shaped, shaping.
noun 1. the outward contour or outline; form; figure.
Ex. An apple is different in shape from a banana. All circles have the same shape; rectangles have different shapes. A white shape stood at his bedside.
(SYN) cast, build.
2. an assumed appearance; guise; disguise.
Ex. A witch was supposed to take the shape of a cat or bat.
Ex. The athlete exercised to keep himself in good shape.
4. a definite form; proper arrangement; order.
Ex. Take time to get your thoughts into shape. He collected his cut of the surplus value in the shape of the rent which was paid him (Edmund Wilson).
5. a kind; sort.
Ex. dangers of every shape.
6. a mold or pattern for giving shape to something.
7. something shaped, such as jelly or pudding in a mold or metal.
Ex. But the English firmly entrenched behind impenetrable ramparts of ... cold shape and suet pudding, have gone right on boiling their Brussels sprouts (Time).
v.t. 1. to form; make into a form; mold.
Ex. The child shapes clay into balls.
2. to adapt in form.
Ex. That hat is shaped to her head.
3. to give definite form or character to.
Ex. events that shape people's lives.
4. to plan; devise; direct; aim.
Ex. to shape one's course in life.
5. to express in words.
Ex. to shape a question or a reply. She had a way of idiomatically shaping a musical phrase that cannot be taught (New York Times).
6. to mold; pattern.
7. (Obsolete.) to appoint; decree; determine.
v.i. 1. to take shape; assume form; develop.
Ex. Clay shapes easily. Our plan is shaping well.
2. to turn out; happen.
expr. in shape, (Informal.) in good condition or health.
Ex. All he needs is a week's rest and he'll be back in shape.
expr. lick into shape, (Informal.) to make presentable or usable.
Ex. to lick a story into shape. They ... promised their cooperation in licking it into shape (London Times).
expr. shape up,
a. to take on a certain form or appearance; develop.
Ex. The plans for the new building are shaping up nicely.
b. to show a certain tendency.
Ex. What had shaped up as a Democratic cat-and-dog fight became ... a "high-level" debate (Newsweek).
c. to get into shape; ready oneself.
Ex. Gina Hawthorn, fourth in the 1968 Olympic slalom, [is] shaping up for one more attempt on a British medal (Manchester Guardian Weekly).
d. (U.S. Informal.) to fall into line; behave properly; conform.
Ex. The apparent presidential-vice-presidential view [is] that the economy can be saved ... or civil peace restored if only Harriet Van Horne [a daily columnist] will shape up (Washington Post).
expr. take shape, to have or take on a definite form.
Ex. The general outline of the novel began to take shape.
...sorry for the length of this...I promise I'll shape up next time!