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Etymology 1[edit]

From Middle English schapynge, equivalent to shape +‎ -ing.


shaping (plural shapings)

  1. The action of the verb to shape.
    • 1996, Mike Michael, Constructing Identities: The Social, the Nonhuman and Change:
      In contrast to the (to be sure, productive) shapings and constrainings of human identities in the sociotechnical network, here we have an expansion of identity.
  2. (psychology) A method of positive reinforcement of behaviour patterns in a series of steps in operant conditioning.
    • 2015, Ilona Rodan, Sarah Heath, editors, Feline Behavioral Health and Welfare, Elsevier Health Sciences, →ISBN, page 51:
      In general, it's a good idea to know ahead of time what your shaping steps will be and try to get 80% to 100% correct trials during the shaping steps an repeat each step for only 5 to 10 trials in a row.
Derived terms[edit]

Etymology 2[edit]

From Middle English shapinge, shapende, schapende, schappande, from Old English sċyppende, sċeppende, from Proto-West Germanic *skappjandī, from Proto-Germanic *skapjandz, present participle of Proto-Germanic *skapjaną (to form, shape, create), equivalent to shape +‎ -ing.



  1. present participle and gerund of shape

Further reading[edit]