A shapefile is a type of geographic layer which has data of some type, in tabular format, associated with geographic location data, usually in a form of a digital map. Shapefiles can only represent one kind of data (point, line, polygon, etc.), although each individual shape can have many attributes. Shapefiles use DBASE files (.dbf) to store their tables.
A vector data format for storing the location, shape, and attributes of geographic features. A shapefile is stored in a set of related files and contains one feature class, point, line or polygon.