Middle English Dictionary Entry

shāpen v.
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Entry Info

Definitions (Senses and Subsenses)

Note: Cp. ishapen v.
(a) Of the Deity: to create (the universe, its aspects, creatures, etc.), bring into existence; ~ al in compas, entirely create (sb.); ~ forth; ~ of nought; (b) of the Deity: to give (sb. or sth.) a specific shape, form, fashion; -- also refl.; ~ after (to), form (sb. or sth.) on the pattern of (sth.); ~ of, form (man) out of (earth); also, make (sb. into a man) out of (earth); ~ to shape, give (sb.) shape; (c) ppl. shapen, formed in a certain way; having a particular natural form, shape, construction, or character; arranged in a certain pattern [quot.: a1450(1391)]; ~ after on, shaped in the same way; long (short) shapen, of the head: oblong (squat); wel-shapen, q.v.
(a) To make clothes [quot.: a1450(c1412)]; make (clothes, a cross, ship, etc.), build, construct; also fig.; concoct (a salve); create (an appearance for oneself); have (sth.) made (for sb.) [quot.: c1450]; ~ a hod, deceive (sb.), ?cuckold; ~ of the neue, be made anew; (b) to give (sth.) specific or definite shape, form; also fig. [quot.: ?a1475(a1396)]; make (sth. for a specific purpose); give (definite shape to sth.); cut (cloth, clothes) in a specific manner or style; distort the meaning of (a text) [quot.: a1382]; form or arrange (soldiers for battle) [quot.: a1450(a1338)]; also, of a planet: govern the shape or appearance of the body; influence the shape or appearance of (a part of the body); shapeth you to on hed, form yourselves under one leader; shapen in shetes, made into sheets; evile shapen, of a coat: poorly cut or fashioned; wel-shapen, q.v.; (c) to paint (sth.), portray; also fig.; carve (sth.), sculpt; (d) to change the shape of (sb., oneself, sth.), transform; ~ heremite, make (oneself) a hermit; ~ in-to (til, unto).
(a) To establish (peace, defense, etc.), make; institute (law); organize (a legion), set up; set (a time), fix; (b) to devise (sth.), make up; devise (a remedy), find; give (sb. or sth. a name); of Christ: design (his passion for a purpose); ~ of, devise (a remedy); (c) to bring about (sth.), effect, contrive; do (sth. evil); make (a voyage); make (confession); contrive (that sth. happen), ensure; refl. make sure (that sth. is done); (d) to make provision (for masses); be responsible for (sth.) [1st quot.]; make provision (to do sth.), arrange (that sth. occur); have (sb. do sth.), arrange for (sb. or oneself to do sth.); also, compel (sb. to do sth.); (e) to form (a mental image); imagine (sth.); (f) to compose (a psalm); make (a brief translation); tell (a tale); speak (words); sing (a song, voice part, an interval); produce (a musical sound); raise (a shout).
(a) Of God, Christ, the Virgin Mary: to ordain (sth., that sth. should occur), decree; ordain (to do sth.), determine; ~ to shame, destine (sb.) to shameful death; (b) of fate, destiny, chance, etc.: to ordain; ordain (sth., sth. for sb.), destine; -- also without obj.; determine the fate of (sb.); decree (that sth. occur, that sth. be so for sb.); also, of the weather: allow, permit; (c) ben shapen, of persons: to be destined (to sth., to do sth., etc.); be allotted (sth.); of one's destiny, death, etc.: be ordained, be fated; impers. me is shapen, I am destined (in a certain way, to do sth.); hit is shapen; ppl. shapen, destined (for sth.); (d) to cause (sth.); cause (sb. to do sth.); (e) to happen, occur; impers. hit) shapeth, it happens, turns out; it befalls (sb.); it happens (that sth. occurs).
(a) To prepare (for sth.); -- also refl.; get (sth.) ready, prepare; have (sth.) ready; refl. prepare (to do sth.), get ready; (b) to intend (to do sth.), propose, determine; -- usu. refl.; (c) to plan; plan (sth., how sth. might be done); plan (to do sth.); -- also refl.; also, plot (sth., how sth. might be done); plot (to do sth.); -- also refl.; (d) to attempt (sth., to do sth.); -- usu. refl.; also, attempt to strike [quot.: a1470].
(a) To go; refl. betake oneself; also, fig. incline (toward sth.), tend [quot.: Wars Alex.]; ~ awei, escape; ~ forth, refl. go forth; ~ up, refl. arise; impers. hit shapeth in-to, it comes into (one's heart to do sth.); (b) with little semantic content: ~ comen (gon, rennen, etc.), to come (go, run, etc.); -- usu. refl.; (c) ~ in-to, refl. to put on (a garment), dress oneself in; ~ in, of birds: ?put on (clothing); -- used fig. of plumage; ?move or fly onto a branch [= 6.(a)]; ppl. shapen, arrayed.
(a) To direct, prescribe; direct (sb., sth., oneself), guide; determine (one's penance); orient (the will, love in God); designate (a bishop to do sth.); ~ with, ?prescribe in (words); ~ journei, direct (one's) journey; ~ ost, march an army; (b) to send (sb. or sth.), dispatch; ~ to the deth, put (sb.) to death.
Misc. (a) In proverbial expressions; (b) error for shaken v.; (c) error for shaken v. or striken v.

Supplemental Materials (draft)

  • (a1393) Gower CA (Frf 3)8.2850 : The time is schape To frost, to Snow, to Wind, to Rein.
  • Note: "The time [i.e. season following harvest] is shaped for frost…snow, [etc]"; gloss = ?suitable for, ?permits.--per MJW
    Note: This quot. not covered by any of the glosses. Probably closest to 4.(b) or 5.(a) but really needs its own subsense, wherever it goes.--per MJW
    Note: ?Another possible gloss: ~ to, to be ripe for.--per MLL