Shape

The shape (Old English: gesceap, created thing) of an object located in some space is a geometrical description of the part of that space occupied by the object, as determined by its external boundary – abstracting from location and orientation in space, size, and other properties such as colour, content, and material composition.

Mathematician and statistician David George Kendall writes:

In this paper ‘shape’ is used in the vulgar sense, and means what one would normally expect it to mean. We here define ‘shape’ informally as ‘all the geometrical information that remains when location, scale and rotational effects are filtered out from an object.’

Simple shapes can be described by basic geometry objects such as a set of two or more points, a line, a curve, a plane, a plane figure (e.g. square or circle), or a solid figure (e.g. cube or sphere). Most shapes occurring in the physical world are complex. Some, such as plant structures and coastlines, may be so arbitrary as to defy traditional mathematical description – in which case they may be analyzed by differential geometry, or as fractals.

Read more about Shape:  Rigid Shape Definition, Non-rigid Shape Definition, Colloquial Shape Definition, Philosophical Skepticism of Definitions, Shape Analysis, Similarity Classes

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Famous quotes containing the word shape:

    This whole day have I followed in the rocks,
    And you have changed and flowed from shape to shape,
    First as a raven on whose ancient wings
    Scarcely a feather lingered, then you seemed
    A weasel moving on from stone to stone....
    William Butler Yeats (1865–1939)

    Thus when I come to shape here at this table between my hands the story of my life and set it before you as a complete thing, I have to recall things gone far, gone deep, sunk into this life or that and become part of it; dreams, too, things surrounding me, and the inmates, those old half-articulate ghosts who keep up their hauntings by day and night ... shadows of people one might have been; unborn selves.
    Virginia Woolf (1882–1941)

    Bid her paint till day of doom,
    To this favour she must come.
    Bid the merchant gather wealth,
    The usurer exact by stealth,
    The proud man beat it from his thought,
    Yet to this shape all must be brought.
    Francis Beaumont (1584-1616)