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[sheyp-lee] /ˈʃeɪp li/
adjective, shapelier, shapeliest.
having a pleasing shape, especially with reference to a woman's figure.
Origin of shapely
1325-75; shape + -ly; replacing Middle English shaply, schaply; compare Old English gesceaplīce (adv.) fitly
Related forms
shapeliness, noun
unshapeliness, noun
unshapely, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for shapely
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Her shapely head was perfectly poised upon her strong neck, and he was aware instantly of the graceful line of her shoulders.

    The Foolish Lovers St. John G. Ervine
  • He was a tall and shapely young man, with a waist, with a carriage.

    Blow The Man Down Holman Day
  • Mrs. Conner's left eyelid twitched in company with the left corner of her shapely mouth.

    Stories That End Well Octave Thanet
  • I know that my body is anything but shapely; but my soul—that, I trust, is different.

    The Free Lances Mayne Reid
  • On one shapely hip she wore a straight double-edged sword, and on the other a long dirk.

    Red Nails Robert E. Howard
  • The clothes were much worn and torn, but the body they covered was strong and shapely.

    The Birthright Joseph Hocking
  • Ere she had done speaking, his heavy riding-boots were drawn on her own shapely limbs.

    Katerfelto G. J. Whyte-Melville
  • The hands and feet are shapely, the limbs strong and well-formed.

British Dictionary definitions for shapely


adjective -lier, -liest
(esp of a woman's body or legs) pleasing or attractive in shape
Derived Forms
shapeliness, noun
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for shapely

"well-formed, having a regular and pleasing shape," late 14c., from shape (n.) + -ly (1). Related: Shapeliness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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