lick into shape


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Related to lick into shape: without a hitch

lick someone or something into shape

to press or force someone or something into good shape or condition. The drama coach will try to lick her into shape by performance time. Please try to lick this report into shape by tomorrow morning.
See also: lick, shape

lick something into shape

 and whip something into shape
Fig. to put something into good condition, possibly with considerable effort. I've got about two days more to lick this place into shape so I can sell it. I want to whip this house into shape for Saturday night.
See also: lick, shape

lick into shape

Also, whip into shape. Bring into satisfactory condition or appearance, as in The garden looks neglected, but Dad will soon lick it into shape, or We need at least three more practices before the team is whipped into shape. The expression using lick, which some think alludes to how bears treat their cubs, dates from about 1600. The variant alludes to the forceful use of a whip to accomplish something.
See also: lick, shape

lick into shape

Informal
To bring into satisfactory condition or appearance.
See also: lick, shape