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:

    somewhere in sands of the desert
    A shape with lion body and the head of a man,
    A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
    Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it
    Reel shadows of the indignant desert birds.
    William Butler Yeats (1865–1939)

    Surely among a rich man’s flowering lawns,
    Amid the rustle of his planted hills,
    Life overflows without ambitious pains;
    And rains down life until the basin spills,
    And mounts more dizzy high the more it rains
    As though to choose whatever shape it wills....
    William Butler Yeats (1865–1939)

    his fear of the word “veil”;
    and in the shape of a ship,
    still another who slept.
    —Joáo Cabral De Melo Neto (b. 1920)