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lick (or knock or whip) someone/thing into shape

Definition of lick or knock or whip someone/thing into shape in English:

Act forcefully to bring someone or something into a fitter, more efficient, or better-organized state: the bank were eager to whip the company into shape for eventual sale
More example sentences
  • He is determined his team hits the ground running from day one this season so he's devised a vigorous training regime to whip his players into shape.
  • But then their job was to judge people who had no idea what they wanted to do and then send them out to companies or jobs where we could be knocked into shape by the system.
  • This time, the York College employee will put a bunch of self-confessed ‘bad lads’, aged 18 to 24, through their paces in an attempt to see if four weeks of a strict 1950s regime can lick them into shape.
See parent entry: shape

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Word of the day orthoepy
Pronunciation: ˈɔːθəʊɛpi
noun
the correct or accepted pronunciation of words