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 The president won the election on his promise to lick the economy into shape by overhauling outdated or inefficient legislation.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.
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.
lick something into shapeand 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.
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.
get/knock/lick somebody/something into ˈshapemake somebody/something more acceptable or organized; improve somebody/something: Do you think you can lick this company into shape?
lick into shapeInformal
To bring into satisfactory condition or appearance.