# 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.

### Famous quotes containing the word shape:

I used to say: “there is a God-shaped hole in me.” For a long time I stressed the absence, the hole. Now I find it is the shape which has become more important.
Salman Rushdie (b. 1948)

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

Somebody once said that I am incapable of drawing a man, but that I draw abstract things like despair, disillusion, despondency, sorrow, lapse of memory, exile, and that these things are sometimes in a shape that might be called Man or Woman.
James Thurber (1894–1961)