Definition of shape up in English:

shape up

phrasal verb

  • 1Develop or progress in a particular way.

    ‘I wanted to see how things had been shaping up in my absence’
    ‘it was shaping up to be another bleak year’
    • ‘Yes, this trip was finally shaping up after all.’
    • ‘Once thought to be a black-sand gulag, the Pacific coast is now shaping up as Latin America's last surfing frontier.’
    • ‘This is shaping up to be one of our best seasons ever.’
    • ‘I still felt cold as I entered the water, but I nevertheless enjoyed an hour of floundering around in the surf and with the December sun gradually rising higher in the sky it was shaping up to be a fine day.’
    • ‘And as someone who likes to have their party plans figured out more than a day in advance, let's look at the parties that are shaping up to be the most popular this year.’
    • ‘So far, May is shaping up like this for Jacksonville Economic Development Commission meetings.’
    • ‘Certainly shaping up to be a must-see is Kenneth Branagh's adaptation of Shakespeare's ‘Love's Labours Lost,’ made into a musical entertainment.’
    • ‘Her partnership was shaping up nicely along with her plan.’
    • ‘So, it'll be interesting to see how, in fact, a trial shapes up.’
    • ‘Dropping our cynical snide act, it is shaping up beautifully.’
    • ‘A series of interesting competitions are shaping up in the performance categories.’
    • ‘Now, Brett and Therese, of Asby, Cumbria, are shaping up to look and act like the real thing, with Therese aiming to be a volunteer on a National Trust farm.’
    • ‘It is actually shaping up to be a fine purveyor of Caribbean and world music.’
    • ‘And is it shaping up to be another summer of love?’
    • ‘Plus, it's shaping up to be a hot summer at the movies.’
    • ‘Software could shape up as the next big advertising medium as developers look for new ways to make money.’
    • ‘It is shaping up to be a good game for your little ones.’
    • ‘Although no parliamentary seats are at stake, the vote is shaping up as a referendum on the government's performance since it took power in June, 2002.’
    • ‘It's shaping up to be a very literary winter season on our local stages, featuring prose works adapted to the stage and a prose writer writing for the stage, as well as work by some of the finest contemporary playwrights from here and abroad.’
    • ‘‘No one is calling it a free vote, but it's certainly shaping up that way,’ Gallagher says.’
    • ‘Well, it's shaping up to be a great summer for rock shows.’
    improve, show improvement, get better, make headway, make progress, progress, show promise
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    1. 1.1 Become physically fit.
      ‘she was looking for a way to shape up after the birth of her second son’
      • ‘If you already have a special someone, shaping up together enhances physical and emotional intimacy since you both are sharing fitness goals and spending time together.’
      • ‘Believing that we will inspire our patients to make desperately needed lifestyle changes, the AAFP is promoting the untested hypothesis that family physicians should shape up and become better role models.’
      get fit, get into shape, tone up
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    2. 1.2informal Improve one's behaviour or performance to the required standard.
      ‘the manager has ordered his goal-shy strike force to shape up’
      • ‘Now you either shape up and act like a mature young woman or you can get on a plane right now and we'll send you home!’
      • ‘Go ahead and require them to shape up or start learning to train their Polish replacements.’