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ship +‎ shape; of nautical origin, based on the obligation of a sailor to keep his/her quarters arranged neatly and securely against the inevitable turbulence at sea. It also implies a neat and efficient packing to fit into the limited space typically allotted to service members aboard ship.


shipshape (comparative more shipshape, superlative most shipshape)

  1. Meticulously neat and tidy
    • 1937, Captains Courageous, 01:44:00:
      -- When are you going out fishing again? -- Oh, in about six weeks, when we're shipshape aloft.
  2. Organized, serviceable, trained and ready for action

Related terms[edit]