The shape parameter helps determining the shape of equilibrium beach profile in terms of offshore distance and water depth. The shape parameter therefore, should represent the effect of all the environmental factors involved in beach profile formation, such as wave climate and sediment properties. However, all the previous studies carried out to define shape parameter only consider the effects of sediment characteristics in their definitions. The aim of this study is to add the effect of wave climate also in the definition of shape parameter. This is achieved by integrating wave energy dissipation rate per unit volume at the surf zone. The result yields equilibrium wave energy dissipation rate that leads to theoretical definition of equilibrium beach profiles involving the effects of both the grain size and the wave climate parameters. It is found that the sediment grain size and the incoming wave height affect the value of shape parameter; whereas, the effects of wave period can be neglected. By means of energy equation, it is also possible to observe in macro scale the strength of wave energy on beach profile for different grain sizes. The findings also bring about the possibility of defining shape parameter such that any two arbitrary beach profiles owning the same sediment grain sizes can have the opportunity to have different beach profile formations. Finally, by adding the effect of wave height in the definition of shape parameter the graphical representation of the parameter, previously given by Moore (1982) is improved herein. (C) 2005 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.