Definition of shape up in US English:

shape up

phrasal verb

  • 1Develop or happen in a particular way.

    ‘it was shaping up to be another bleak year’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘And is it shaping up to be another summer of love?’
    • ‘Her partnership was shaping up nicely along with her plan.’
    • ‘So, it'll be interesting to see how, in fact, a trial shapes up.’
    • ‘A series of interesting competitions are shaping up in the performance categories.’
    • ‘It is actually shaping up to be a fine purveyor of Caribbean and world music.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Plus, it's shaping up to be a hot summer at the movies.’
    • ‘Yes, this trip was finally shaping up after all.’
    • ‘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 shaping up to be a good game for your little ones.’
    • ‘So far, May is shaping up like this for Jacksonville Economic Development Commission meetings.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Software could shape up as the next big advertising medium as developers look for new ways to make money.’
    • ‘Dropping our cynical snide act, it is shaping up beautifully.’
    • ‘Once thought to be a black-sand gulag, the Pacific coast is now shaping up as Latin America's last surfing frontier.’
    • ‘‘No one is calling it a free vote, but it's certainly shaping up that way,’ Gallagher says.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Well, it's shaping up to be a great summer for rock shows.’
    • ‘This is shaping up to be one of our best seasons ever.’
    • ‘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.’
    improve, show improvement, get better, make headway, make progress, progress, show promise
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    1. 1.1informal Improve performance or behavior.
      ‘we have never been afraid to tell our children to shape up’
      • ‘If your behavior doesn't shape up here or at school, we may have no choice but to ship you off too!’
      get fit, get into shape, tone up
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    2. 1.2 Become physically fit.
      ‘I need to shape up’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      get fit, get into shape, tone up
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