• WordNet 3.6
    • adj shapeless lacking symmetry or attractive form "a shapeless hat on his head"
    • adj shapeless having no definite form or distinct shape "amorphous clouds of insects","an aggregate of formless particles","a shapeless mass of protoplasm"
    • ***
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • a Shapeless Destitute of shape or regular form; wanting symmetry of dimensions; misshapen; -- opposed to shapely. "The shapeless rock, or hanging precipice."
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • shapeless Destitute of regular form; wanting symmetry of dimensions; deformed; amorphous.
    • shapeless That has no shaping tendency or effect; that effects nothing.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • Shapeless having no shape or regular form:
    • Shapeless (Shak.) effecting nothing
    • ***


Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
A.S. sceapan, scapan, to form, make; Ice. skapa, Ger. schaffen.


In literature:

Was there anything actually there, or was the shapeless darkness anything more than an accidental shadow?
"Not Pretty, But Precious" by John Hay, et al.
A shapeless, moist, blue calico mass.
"Cheerful--By Request" by Edna Ferber
The lower part is not a pedestal, but left shapeless and rough like a real rock.
"The Life and Letters of Lewis Carroll" by Stuart Dodgson Collingwood
All shapeless on the floor Philip and Annie and the crockery lay.
"Collections and Recollections" by George William Erskine Russell
I now looked round me and found the place but small and shapeless.
"The Life and Most Surprising Adventures of Robinson Crusoe, of York, Mariner (1801)" by Daniel Defoe
It is composed of several large tables, heavy and shapeless as benches, placed side by side to form a platform.
"Hodge and His Masters" by Richard Jefferies
I was not far now from the south wall of the stable, which loomed black and shapeless against the sky.
"Love Under Fire" by Randall Parrish
To her mind, Mrs. Jerry was beautiful and perfect, even in her shapeless brown dress that was always clean.
"The Gringos" by B. M. Bower
Behold that shapeless Heap of stones and earth!
"The Poetical Works of William Wordsworth, Vol. II." by William Wordsworth
What a shapeless pin-cushion fit my gown seems beside the admirable French sit of hers!
"Nancy" by Rhoda Broughton
In that shapeless garment he was no longer likely to catch the eye of any unduly curious observer as a "well-dressed" man.
"The Moon Rock" by Arthur J. Rees
Just underneath, in the grass, were two shoes, which snow and rain had rendered shapeless.
"The Man Who Laughs" by Victor Hugo
Peter caught a glimpse of a shapeless, battered, gory mass under trampling feet.
"The Purple Heights" by Marie Conway Oemler
Even her large, shiny, shapeless boots and the coarse sateen stuff of her dress affected him.
"The Roll-Call" by Arnold Bennett
The shapeless lump at some distance resembled a ball of cotton.
"An Account of the English Colony in New South Wales, Vol. 2" by David Collins
The remains of other bodies, that had gradually shrunk into shapeless masses, were also dimly visible.
"A Residence in France" by J. Fenimore Cooper
The women have broad, shapeless figures and clumsy, deliberate movements.
"The Lake of the Sky" by George Wharton James
The man looks fresh and his wife elderly and wrinkled and shapeless, even if she has reasonable health.
"The Living Present" by Gertrude Franklin Horn Atherton
One of them, the Palazzo del Municipio, is a shapeless unfinished block of masonry.
"Sketches and Studies in Italy and Greece, Second Series" by John Addington Symonds
She saw him come hopping from rock to rock, his wagging finger, shapeless face, tongueless voice.
"The Life and Death of Richard Yea-and-Nay" by Maurice Hewlett

In poetry:

She hears him. Him she owes
For half her loveliness a love well won
By work that lights the shapeless and the dun,
Their common foes.
"Earth And Man" by George Meredith
From there we watch'd the falls above,
The rocks half-worn and gray,
That still, like shapeless Sphinxes, strove
To tear their veils of spray.
"A Walk To Pamphy Linns" by Alexander Anderson
Till thrones of kings and queens shall tumble,
And monuments of stone and brass,
Shall into shapeless ruin crumble,
And blow away like withered grass.
"To Miss Mary Bain" by David John Scott
'Twas on a night of wildest storms,
When loudly roar'd the raving main,—
When dark clouds shew'd their shapeless forms,
And hail beat hard the cottage pane,—
"Lines Written In A Cottage" by Sir John Carr
What shapeless form, half lost on high,
Half seen against the evening sky,
Seems like a ghost to glide,
And watch, from Babel's crumbling heap,
Where in her shadow, fast asleep,
Lies fallen imperial Pride?
"Monday In Whitsun-Week" by John Keble
And so the poet takes a shapeless thought
And gives its fancies grace and melody,
Until he feels he has perfection wrought
Where Thought and Music blending happily
Create the Beauty that all time has sought,
Where perfect form is immortality.
"Beauty and Form" by Washington Van Dusen

In news:

Shapeless dreampop or empty stylistics.
Russell Crowe's body is shapeless now, his complexion pasty, his hair long and lank.
The National Stadium of Karachi stands on Dalmia road, not far from what could be the centre of an unending, shapeless city.
His shapeless memoir covers 14 years of an American woman's life in Italy.
Scrubs — those shapeless, utilitarian two-piece uniforms that are now omnipresent — were originally designed and intended for wear exclusively in the operating room.
Yep, those mushy, shapeless, bulky bean-bag chairs work wonders at absorbing vibrations – and they make the ride on any boat.
When he conducted the Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto on a high-profile 2002 Deutsche Grammophon release with the young violinist Ilya Gringolts, the orchestra sounded shapeless and unruly.

In science:

My work would have been shapeless without F.
Aspects of the history, anatomy, taxonomy and palaeobiology of sauropod dinosaurs
God, thou great symmetry, Who put a biting lust in me From whence my sorrows spring, For al l the frittered days That I have spent in shapeless ways Give me one perfect thing.
Symmetry Tests and Standard Model Backgrounds
This distinction is interesting as it is in principle possible for fluctuations to be localized but shapeless, or more surprisingly, to be shapeful but not localized.
Non-Gaussian spectra and the search for cosmic strings
In terms of the various levels of structure considered we can then characterize Gaussian fluctuations as shapeless, delocalized and disconnected.
Non-Gaussian spectra and the search for cosmic strings
From top to bottom and left to right, a plain regular sphere, a shapeless sphere, a delocalized sphere, and a disconnected sphere.
Non-Gaussian spectra and the search for cosmic strings
Respectively we have strings, shapeless strings, unlocalized strings and disconnected strings.
Non-Gaussian spectra and the search for cosmic strings
We depict a spherical hot spot in real space, then a shapeless sphere, a delocalized sphere, and a disconnected sphere.
Non-Gaussian spectra and the search for cosmic strings
For the case of a sphere we find that what we recognize as shape is mostly localization. A shapeless sphere keeps its recognizable features.
Non-Gaussian spectra and the search for cosmic strings
Shapeless strings, delocalized strings, and disconnected strings are shown.
Non-Gaussian spectra and the search for cosmic strings
On the other hand the fact that line-like discontinuities are present even for shapeless strings shows how much more structure there is in the map on top of the structure which we can recognize.
Non-Gaussian spectra and the search for cosmic strings