Denotation vs. Connotation


[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.
Cite This Source
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
  • A shapely one he is, and strong, as e'er from cast was cast.

  • Mrs. Conner's left eyelid twitched in company with the left corner of her shapely mouth.

    Stories That End Well Octave Thanet
  • The hands and wrists of this lady were very white and shapely.

    The Market-Place Harold Frederic
  • On one shapely hip she wore a straight double-edged sword, and on the other a long dirk.

    Red Nails Robert E. Howard
  • A slight shake of Edith's small, shapely head served for answer.

    The Market-Place Harold Frederic
  • Ere she had done speaking, his heavy riding-boots were drawn on her own shapely limbs.

    Katerfelto G. J. Whyte-Melville
  • She did not raise her shapely head, but her glance was no dream thing.

    Victory Joseph Conrad
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
Cite This Source
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
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for shapely

Some English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for shapely

Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for shapely