Ask Difference

Mold vs. Shape — What's the Difference?

By Tayyaba Rehman — Updated on October 13, 2023
Mold refers to a frame or template used to create objects or also to a type of fungus, while Shape denotes the external form or appearance of something.
Mold vs. Shape

Difference Between Mold and Shape

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Key Differences

Mold and Shape are both significant in defining the form or appearance of an object, but their usages and implications differ. Mold often refers to a hollow container used to give shape to molten or hot liquid material when it cools and hardens. On the other hand, Shape indicates the external form, contours, or outline of an object, often irrespective of the material it's made of.
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Oct 13, 2023
In the context of production or manufacturing, Mold is an essential tool. Molds are used to produce multiple copies of the same item, ensuring uniformity. In contrast, the term Shape in this setting would refer to the final appearance or geometry of the produced item. For example, while a plastic mold might be used to produce toy figures, the toy's actual design and outline determine its shape.
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Oct 13, 2023
Mold can also refer to a fungus that grows in the form of multicellular filaments. In this biological context, Shape wouldn’t be used in the same way. Instead, when talking about fungi, Shape might describe the structure or appearance of the fungal growth.
Tayyaba Rehman
Oct 13, 2023
The influence of environment or factors in shaping character or personality is another interesting comparison. While one might say experiences "mold" a person's character, suggesting they form or influence it, we'd say experiences "shape" one's worldview, indicating they define or give it form.
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Oct 13, 2023

Comparison Chart

Primary Definition

A frame to give form to something.
The external form of an object.
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In Manufacturing

Tool for producing uniform items.
The final appearance of an item.
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Biological Context

Refers to a type of fungus.
Describes structure or appearance.
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Influence

Form or influence something.
Define or give form to something.
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Grammatical Role

Mostly used as a noun.
Can be used as both noun and verb.
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Compare with Definitions

Mold

A fungus that grows in the form of multicellular filaments.
There's mold on the old bread.
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Shape

To give a particular form or appearance to something.
He shaped the wood into a sculpture.
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Mold

To shape something by hand or using tools.
She molded the clay into a vase.
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Shape

A shape or figure is the form of an object or its external boundary, outline, or external surface, as opposed to other properties such as color, texture, or material type. A plane shape, two-dimensional shape, or 2D shape (plane figure, two-dimensional figure, or 2D figure) is constrained to lie on a plane, in contrast to solid figures.
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Mold

A mold (US) or mould (UK, NZ, AU, ZA, IN, CA, IE) is a fungus that grows in the form of multicellular filaments called hyphae. In contrast, fungi that can adopt a single-celled growth habit are called yeasts.
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Shape

The characteristic surface configuration of a thing; an outline or contour
A lake in the shape of an hourglass.
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Mold

A town in north-eastern Wales, administrative centre of Flintshire; population 10,500 (est. 2009).
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Shape

Spatial form, contour, or appearance
The sandy coastline is always changing shape.
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Mold

A hollow form or matrix for shaping a fluid or plastic substance.
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Shape

The body or outward appearance of a person or an animal
Saw two shapes walking toward her in the night.
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Mold

A frame or model around or on which something is formed or shaped.
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Shape

The contour of a person's body; the figure
A swimmer with a slender shape.
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Mold

Something that is made in or shaped on a mold.
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Shape

A definite or distinctive form
Our discussion acquired the shape of an argument.
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Mold

The shape or pattern of a mold.
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Shape

Form, condition, or embodiment
How is your research project taking shape?.
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Mold

General shape or form
The oval mold of her face.
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Shape

A desirable form
A fabric that holds its shape.
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Mold

Distinctive character or type
A leader in the mold of her predecessors.
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Shape

Assumed or false appearance; guise
A god in the shape of a swan.
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Mold

A fixed or restrictive pattern or form
A method of scientific investigation that broke the mold and led to a new discovery.
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Shape

A ghostly form; a phantom
Shapes appeared in his bedroom at night.
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Mold

(Architecture) See molding.
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Shape

Something, such as a mold or pattern, used to give or determine form.
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Mold

Any of various filamentous fungi that grow on and contribute to the decay of organic matter.
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Shape

The condition of something with regard to effectiveness, use, or appearance
What kind of shape is your car in?.
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Mold

A growth of such fungi.
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Shape

Bodily condition, as in regard to muscle tone or endurance
She's in great shape after working out for six months.
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Mold

Any of various other saprophytic or parasitic organisms that resemble fungi, such as slime molds or water molds.
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Shape

To give a particular form to (a material)
Shape the dough into baguettes.
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Mold

Loose friable soil, rich in humus and fit for planting.
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Shape

To create or configure, as from a material
A sculpture that was shaped out of ice.
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Mold

The earth; the ground.
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Shape

To cause to conform to a particular form
A pool that is shaped like an hourglass.
A bone that is shaped to bear weight.
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Mold

The earth of the grave.
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Shape

To plan or devise
Shape a new educational program.
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Mold

(Archaic) Earth as the substance of the human body.
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Shape

To embody in a definite form
Shaped a folk tale into an opera.
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Mold

To form (something) out of a fluid or plastic material
Molded a cup out of clay.
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Shape

To influence in a formative way
Experiences that shaped his identity.
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Mold

To form into a particular shape; give shape to
Molded the clay into a ball.
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Shape

To direct the course of
"He shaped history as well as being shaped by it" (Robert J. Samuelson).
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Mold

To guide or determine the growth or development of; influence
A teacher who helps to mold the minds of his students.
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Shape

The status or condition of something
The used bookshop wouldn’t offer much due to the poor shape of the book.
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Mold

To fit closely by following the contours of (the body). Used of clothing.
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Shape

Condition of personal health, especially muscular health.
The vet checked to see what kind of shape the animal was in.
We exercise to keep in good physical shape.
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Mold

To assume a certain shape
Shoes that gradually molded to my feet.
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Shape

The appearance of something in terms of its arrangement in space, especially its outline; often a basic geometric two-dimensional figure.
He cut a square shape out of the cake.
What shape shall we use for the cookies? Stars, circles, or diamonds?
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Mold

To become moldy.
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Shape

Form; formation.
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Mold

A hollow form or matrix for shaping a fluid or plastic substance.
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Shape

(iron manufacture) A rolled or hammered piece, such as a bar, beam, angle iron, etc., having a cross section different from merchant bar.
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Mold

A frame or model around or on which something is formed or shaped.
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Shape

(iron manufacture) A piece which has been roughly forged nearly to the form it will receive when completely forged or fitted.
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Mold

Something that is made in or shaped on a mold.
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Shape

A mould for making blancmange, jelly, etc., or a piece of such food formed moulded into a particular shape.
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Mold

The shape or pattern of a mold.
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Shape

(gambling) A loaded die.
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Mold

General shape or form.
The oval mold of her face
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Shape

(programming) In the Hack programming language, a group of data fields each of which has a name and a data type.
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Mold

Distinctive character or type.
A leader in the mold of her predecessors
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Shape

To create or make.
Earth was shapen by God for God's folk.
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Mold

A fixed or restrictive pattern or form.
His method of scientific investigation broke the mold and led to a new discovery.
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Shape

(transitive) To give something a shape and definition.
Shape the dough into a pretzel.
For my art project, I plan to shape my clay lump into a bowl.
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Mold

(architecture) A group of moldings.
The arch mold of a porch or doorway;
The pier mold of a Gothic pier, meaning the whole profile, section, or combination of parts
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Shape

To form or manipulate something into a certain shape.
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Mold

(anatomy) A fontanelle.
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Shape

(of a country, person, etc) To give influence to.
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Mold

A natural substance in the form of a woolly or furry growth of tiny fungi that appears when organic material lies for a long time exposed to (usually warm and moist) air.
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Shape

To suit; to be adjusted or conformable.
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Mold

A fungus that creates such colored, furry growths.
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Shape

(obsolete) To imagine; to conceive.
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Mold

Loose friable soil, rich in humus and fit for planting.
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Shape

To form or create; especially, to mold or make into a particular form; to give proper form or figure to.
I was shapen in iniquity.
Grace shaped her limbs, and beauty decked her face.
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Mold

Earth, ground.
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Shape

To adapt to a purpose; to regulate; to adjust; to direct; as, to shape the course of a vessel.
To the stream, when neither friends, nor force,Nor speed nor art avail, he shapes his course.
Charmed by their eyes, their manners I acquire,And shape my foolishness to their desire.
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Mold

The top or crown of the head.
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Shape

To imagine; to conceive; to call forth (ideas).
Oft my jealousyShapes faults that are not.
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Mold

(transitive) To shape in or on a mold; to form into a particular shape; to give shape to.
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Shape

To design; to prepare; to plan; to arrange.
When shapen was all this conspiracy,From point to point.
I will early shape me therefor.
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Mold

(transitive) To guide or determine the growth or development of; influence
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Shape

To suit; to be adjusted or conformable.
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Mold

(transitive) To fit closely by following the contours of.
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Shape

Character or construction of a thing as determining its external appearance; outward aspect; make; figure; form; guise; as, the shape of a tree; the shape of the head; an elegant shape.
He beat me grievously, in the shape of a woman.
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Mold

(transitive) To make a mold of or from (molten metal, for example) before casting.
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Shape

That which has form or figure; a figure; an appearance; a being.
Before the gates three sat,On either side, a formidable shape.
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Mold

(transitive) To ornament with moldings.
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Shape

A model; a pattern; a mold.
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Mold

(intransitive) To be shaped in or as if in a mold.
These shoes gradually molded to my feet.
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Shape

Form of embodiment, as in words; form, as of thought or conception; concrete embodiment or example, as of some quality.
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Mold

(transitive) To cause to become moldy; to cause mold to grow upon.
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Shape

Dress for disguise; guise.
Look better on this virgin, and considerThis Persian shape laid by, and she appearingIn a Greekish dress.
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Mold

(intransitive) To become moldy; to be covered or filled, in whole or in part, with a mold.
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Shape

A rolled or hammered piece, as a bar, beam, angle iron, etc., having a cross section different from merchant bar.
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Mold

To cover with mold or soil.
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Shape

Any spatial attributes (especially as defined by outline);
He could barely make out their shapes through the smoke
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Mold

A spot; a blemish; a mole.
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Shape

The spatial arrangement of something as distinct from its substance;
Geometry is the mathematical science of shape
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Mold

Crumbling, soft, friable earth; esp., earth containing the remains or constituents of organic matter, and suited to the growth of plants; soil.
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Shape

Alternative names for the body of a human being;
Leonardo studied the human body
He has a strong physique
The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak
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Mold

Earthy material; the matter of which anything is formed; composing substance; material.
The etherial mold,Incapable of stain.
Nature formed me of her softest mold.
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Shape

A concrete representation of an otherwise nebulous concept;
A circle was the embodiment of his concept of life
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Mold

A growth of minute fungi of various kinds, esp. those of the great groups Hyphomycetes, and Physomycetes, forming on damp or decaying organic matter.
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Shape

The visual appearance of something or someone;
The delicate cast of his features
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Mold

The matrix, or cavity, in which anything is shaped, and from which it takes its form; also, the body or mass containing the cavity; as, a sand mold; a jelly mold.
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Shape

The state of (good) health (especially in the phrases `in condition' or `in shape' or `out of condition' or `out of shape')
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Mold

That on which, or in accordance with which, anything is modeled or formed; anything which serves to regulate the size, form, etc., as the pattern or templet used by a shipbuilder, carpenter, or mason.
The glass of fashion and the mold of form.
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Shape

The supremem headquarters that advises NATO on military matters and oversees all aspects of the Allied Command Europe
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Mold

Cast; form; shape; character.
Crowned with an architrave of antique mold.
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Shape

A perceptual structure;
The composition presents problems for students of musical form
A visual pattern must include not only objects but the spaces between them
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Mold

A group of moldings; as, the arch mold of a porch or doorway; the pier mold of a Gothic pier, meaning the whole profile, section, or combination of parts.
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Shape

Shape or influence; give direction to;
Experience often determines ability
Mold public opinion
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Mold

A fontanel.
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Shape

Make something, usually for a specific function;
She molded the riceballs carefully
Form cylinders from the dough
Shape a figure
Work the metal into a sword
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Mold

A frame with a wire cloth bottom, on which the pump is drained to form a sheet, in making paper by hand.
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Shape

Give a shape or form to;
Shape the dough
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Mold

To cover with mold or soil.
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Shape

The external form or appearance of an object.
The shape of the mountain was awe-inspiring.
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Mold

To cause to become moldy; to cause mold to grow upon.
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Shape

The condition of something in terms of its form.
The cake was in the shape of a heart.
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Mold

To become moldy; to be covered or filled, in whole or in part, with a mold.
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Shape

A specific configuration or structure.
The molecules arranged in a unique shape.
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Mold

To form into a particular shape; to shape; to model; to fashion.
He forgeth and moldeth metals.
Did I request thee, Maker, from my clayTo mold me man?
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Shape

To influence the direction or nature of something.
Her mentor helped shape her career.
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Mold

To ornament by molding or carving the material of; as, a molded window jamb.
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Mold

To knead; as, to mold dough or bread.
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Mold

To form a mold of, as in sand, in which a casting may be made.
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Mold

The distinctive form in which a thing is made;
Pottery of this cast was found throughout the region
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Mold

Container into which liquid is poured to create a given shape when it hardens
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Mold

Loose soil rich in organic matter
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Mold

The process of becoming mildewed
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Mold

A fungus that produces a superficial growth on various kinds of damp or decaying organic matter
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Mold

Sculpture produced by molding
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Mold

Form in clay, wax, etc;
Model a head with clay
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Mold

Become moldy; spoil due to humidity;
The furniture molded in the old house
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Mold

Form by pouring (e.g., wax or hot metal) into a cast or mold;
Cast a bronze sculpture
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Mold

Make something, usually for a specific function;
She molded the riceballs carefully
Form cylinders from the dough
Shape a figure
Work the metal into a sword
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Mold

Fit tightly, follow the contours of;
The dress molds her beautiful figure
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Mold

Shape or influence; give direction to;
Experience often determines ability
Mold public opinion
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Mold

A hollow container used to give shape to molten material.
The artist poured the bronze into the mold.
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Mold

To form or influence something.
Experiences mold our character.
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Mold

A distinctive nature, character, or type.
He's cut from a different mold.
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Common Curiosities

Can Mold refer to something other than a shaping tool?

Yes, it can refer to a type of fungus.
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What does it mean when one says experiences "shape" us?

It means experiences define or give form to our character or perspectives.
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What is the primary use of a Mold?

A mold is mainly used as a frame or container to give form to materials.
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Which word is more versatile in terms of parts of speech?

Shape, as it can be used both as a noun and a verb.
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How does Shape differ from Mold in manufacturing?

While mold is the tool to produce items, shape refers to the final appearance of the item.
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Can Shape be used as a verb?

Yes, as in "to shape a piece of wood."
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What's a synonym for Shape when used as a verb?

Form or fashion.
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Is there an overlap in the meanings of Mold and Shape?

Yes, especially when referring to giving form to something.
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How does Shape describe an object?

It refers to the external form, contours, or appearance of the object.
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In which contexts is Mold primarily used?

In manufacturing, biology (fungus), and indicating influence on character.
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Does Mold always indicate a physical tool?

No, it can also indicate influence, as in "molding one's character."
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Is Mold used in the culinary arts?

Yes, often for giving form to desserts or gelatin-based dishes.
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How is Mold related to casting?

Casting often uses molds to give form to materials.
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Can Shape be used to describe abstract concepts?

Yes, as in "shape one's destiny."
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In what context might you use both words together?

"The mold was used to shape the molten glass into a vase."
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Oct 13, 2023

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Author Spotlight

Written by
Tayyaba Rehman
Tayyaba Rehman is a distinguished writer, currently serving as a primary contributor to askdifference.com. As a researcher in semantics and etymology, Tayyaba's passion for the complexity of languages and their distinctions has found a perfect home on the platform. Tayyaba delves into the intricacies of language, distinguishing between commonly confused words and phrases, thereby providing clarity for readers worldwide.

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