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:

    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)

    ‘A Shape all light, which with one hand did fling
    Dew on the earth, as if she were the dawn,
    And the invisible rain did ever sing

    ‘A silver music on the mossy lawn;
    Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792–1822)

    Different persons growing up in the same language are like different bushes trimmed and trained to take the shape of identical elephants. The anatomical details of twigs and branches will fulfill the elephantine form differently from bush to bush, but the overall outward results are alike.
    Willard Van Orman Quine (b. 1908)