lick into shape

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Related to lick into shape: without a hitch

lick (someone or something) into shape

To return someone or something into acceptable condition or behavior, especially through direct, efficient, and practical means. The president won the election on his promise to lick the economy into shape by overhauling outdated or inefficient legislation. What he really needs is a mentor who will lick him into shape.
See also: lick, shape
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

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
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

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
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

get/knock/lick somebody/something into ˈshape

make somebody/something more acceptable or organized; improve somebody/something: Do you think you can lick this company into shape?
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

lick into shape

To bring into satisfactory condition or appearance.
See also: lick, shape
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
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