Two experiments were conducted to examine infants' reliance on object shape versus colour for word generalization to animate and inanimate objects. A total of seventy-three infants aged 1;4 to 1;10 were taught labels for either novel vehicles or novel animals using a preferential looking procedure (Experiment 1) or an interactive procedure (Experiment 2). The results of both experiments indicated that infants limited their word generalization to those exemplars that shared shape similarity with the original referent for both animate and inanimate objects. These findings indicate that a strong reliance on shape is present earlier than previously shown. In Experiment 2, reliance on shape to generalize novel words did not vary as a function of vocabulary size. Thus reliance on shape versus colour for word generalization does not appear to increase in strength as a function of word learning during late infancy.