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

Famous quotes containing the word shape:

    Art, like Nature, has her monsters, things of bestial shape and with hideous voices.
    Oscar Wilde (1854–1900)

    The gay world that flourished in the half-century between 1890 and the beginning of the Second World War, a highly visible, remarkably complex, and continually changing gay male world, took shape in New York City.... It is not supposed to have existed.
    George Chauncey, U.S. educator, author. Gay New York: Gender, Urban Culture, and the Making of the Gay Male World, 1890-1940, p. 1, Basic Books (1994)

    Irish poets, learn your trade,
    Sing whatever is well made,
    Scorn the sort now growing up
    All out of shape from toe to top.
    William Butler Yeats (1865–1939)