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A square is a figure with four equal sides and four right angles. It's a popular shape for windows and record albums, among many other things.
Square has many different metaphorical uses. Old towns had square open areas for meetings, so now "town square" means meeting place, even if it's not shaped exactly like a square. If you settle your debts, you square them, and if someone calls you a square, they mean you're boring, rule-abiding, and lame. In math, a square is the product of something multiplied by itself. If you square your plans with someone, you line them up.
Definitions of square
noun(geometry) a plane rectangle with four equal sides and four right angles; a four-sided regular polygon
“you can compute the area of a square if you know the length of its sides”
nounsomething approximating the shape of a square
nounany artifact having a shape similar to a plane geometric figure with four equal sides and four right angles
“a checkerboard has 64 squares”
nounan open area at the meeting of two or more streets
- synonyms:public square
adjectivehaving four equal sides and four right angles or forming a right angle
“a square peg in a round hole”
“a square corner”
see moresee less
having four sides and four angles
forming a right angle or containing one or more right angles
having been made square
somewhat square in appearance or form
- angular, angulate
having angles or an angular shape
- circular, round
having a circular shape
having the general shape of an apple
- ball-shaped, global, globose, globular, orbicular, spheric, spherical
having the shape of a sphere or ball
having the general shape of a barrel
- bulb-shaped, bulblike, bulbous
shaped like a bulb
being abruptly enlarged and globose at the tip
spherical; like a coccus
shaped like a cumulus cloud
- disc-shaped, disclike, discoid, discoidal, disk-shaped, disklike
having a flat circular shape
resembling the shape of a goblet
- moon-round, moonlike
resembling the moon in shape
resembling a nut in shape and size
resembling a pancake in shape
having a round shape tapered at one end
having the round shape of a pinwheel
having the shape of a ring
somewhat round in appearance or form
round like a wheel
curving and somewhat round in shape rather than jagged
- show more antonyms...
“folded the sheet of paper square”
“Square the circle”
“square the wood with a file”
- synonyms:square up
verbposition so as to be square
“He squared his shoulders”
nouna hand tool consisting of two straight arms at right angles; used to construct or test right angles
“the carpenter who built this room must have lost his square”
nounthe product of two equal terms
“gravity is inversely proportional to the square of the distance”
- synonyms:second power
verbraise to the second power
adjectivecharacterized by honesty and fairness
“a square deal”
- honest, honorable
not disposed to cheat or defraud; not deceptive or fraudulent
conformable to or allowed by law
- aboveboard, straightforward
without concealment or deception; honest
- guileless, transparent
free of deceit
conventionally moral and upright
- honest, honorable
adjectivewithout evasion or compromise
“a square contradiction”
- synonyms:straight, straightforward
straightforward in means or manner or behavior or language or action
adverbin a straight direct way
“ran square into me”
“planted his great bulk square before his enemy”
nouna formal and conservative person with old-fashioned views
- synonyms:square toes
nounsomeone who doesn't understand what is going on
adjectiverigidly conventional or old-fashioned
unimaginative and conformist
adjectiveleaving no balance
“my account with you is now all square”
marked by the reception of pay
verbpay someone and settle a debt
“I squared with him”
verbcause to match, as of ideas or acts
“one idea squares with another”see moresee less
- type of:
- agree, check, correspond, fit, gibe, jibe, match, tally
be compatible, similar, or consistent; coincide in their characteristics
- agree, check, correspond, fit, gibe, jibe, match, tally
adjectiveproviding abundant nourishment
“four square meals a day”
- synonyms:hearty, satisfying, solid, substantial
conducive to or characteristic of physical or moral well-being
verbturn the oar, while rowing
verbturn the paddle; in canoeing
(1) Unexciting, unadventurous, mainstream or dull. Generally used in describing a person with such attributes or who plays it safe. Historically, derived from a person whose goal in life is to have three "squares" a day (see definition (3) below), a roof over his head, a respectable job, a house, 2.5 kids, etc. Became a hip/popular expression of derision of the mainstream in the beat generation.
(2) Proper, decent, straightforward, acceptable, even.
(3) A regular and decent meal.
(1) Naw, he's a square; he won't dance (do anything exciting), he'll just shoot crows (go home).
(2) Hey man, thanks for takin' care of that, you're all square with me now.
(3) Dack is joining the army; at least he gets a dry bunk and three squares a day.
by Lazz March 04, 2008
Get a square mug for your bunkmate Jovana.
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Square is slang for a person who is conventional and old-fashioned, similar to a Fuddy-duddy. This sense of the word "square" originated with the American jazz community in the 1940s, in reference to people out of touch with musical trends. Older senses of the term square referring positively to someone or something honest and upstanding date back to the 16th century.
The English word square dates to the 13th century and derives from the Old Frenchesquarre. By the 1570s, it was in use in reference to someone or something honest or fair. This positive sense is preserved in phrases such as "fair and square", meaning something done in an honest and straightforward manner, and "square deal", meaning an outcome equitable to all sides. A West Country variant on the phrase, "fairs pears", bears the same meaning and was first traced by Cecil Sharp in 1903 when visiting his friend (and lyrics editor) Charles Marson in Hambridge, South Somerset. 
The sense of square as a derogatory reference to someone conventional or old-fashioned dates to the jazz scene of the 1940s; the first known reference is from 1944. There it applied to someone who failed to appreciate the medium of jazz, or more broadly, someone whose tastes were out of date and out of touch. It may derive from the rigid motion of a conductor's hands in a conventional, four-beat rhythm. It is used as both an adjective and a noun. A square contrasted with someone who was hip, or in the know.
The cub scout promise included the pledge "to be square" from the 1950s to the 1970s. In contemporary language, U.S. branches of the military refer to "squared away" to describe things that are ordered.
|Look up square in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.|
- ^ abcd"square, adj., d.". Oxford English Dictionary (Online ed.). Oxford University Press. (Subscription or participating institution membership required.)
- ^ ab"square, n., 16 a.". Oxford English Dictionary (Online ed.). Oxford University Press. (Subscription or participating institution membership required.)
- ^ abcdHarper, Douglas. "square". Online Etymology Dictionary. Retrieved March 29, 2018.
- ^ ab"square, adj., c.". Oxford English Dictionary (Online ed.). Oxford University Press. (Subscription or participating institution membership required.)
- ^"fair and square, adv. and adj.". Oxford English Dictionary (Online ed.). Oxford University Press. (Subscription or participating institution membership required.)
- ^"deal, n.2 2. c.". Oxford English Dictionary (Online ed.). Oxford University Press. (Subscription or participating institution membership required.)
- ^Sharp, C and Marson, C Folk Songs from Somerset vols 1-3 1904-1906 Simpkin
This shows grade level based on the word's complexity.
This shows grade level based on the word's complexity.
a rectangle having all four sides of equal length.
anything having this form or a form approximating it, as a city block, rectangular piece of candy, etc.
an open area or plaza in a city or town, formed by the meeting or intersecting of two or more streets and often planted with grass, trees, etc., in the center.
a rectangularly shaped area on a game board, as in chess or checkers.
a try square, T square, or the like.
- the second power of a quantity, expressed as a2 = a × a, where a is the quantity.
- a quantity that is the second power of another: Four is the square of two.
Slang. a person who is ignorant of or uninterested in current fads, ideas, manners, tastes, etc.; an old-fashioned, conventional, or conservative person.
Military. (formerly) a body of troops drawn up in quadrilateral form.
Building Trades. a unit of measure for roofing materials, equal to 100 square feet (9.3 sq. m).
a flower bud of the cotton plant.
Nautical. the area at the bottom of a hatchway.
Usually squares.Informal. a square meal: to get three squares a day.
Astrology. a situation in which two heavenly bodies or groups of heavenly bodies have celestial longitudes differing by 90 degrees, an aspect indicative of internal tension with an equally strong and conflicting need for adjustment.
Obsolete. a pattern, standard, or example.
verb (used with object),squared,squar·ing.
to reduce to square, rectangular, or cubical form (often followed by off): He squared off the log to make a timber for his house.
to mark out in one or more squares or rectangles.
to test with measuring devices for deviation from a right angle, straight line, or plane surface.
- to multiply (a number or quantity) by itself; raise to the second power.
- to describe or find a square that is equivalent in area to: to square a circle.
to bring to the form of a right angle or right angles; set at right angles to something else.
to even the score of (a contest): to square a game.
to set (the shoulders and back) in an erect posture so they form an angle similar to a right angle.
to make straight, level, or even: Square the cloth on the table.
to regulate, as by a standard; adapt; adjust.
to adjust harmoniously or satisfactorily (often followed by with): How could you square such actions with your conscience?
to balance; pay off; settle: to square a debt.
Slang. to secure a desired action or attitude by means of bribery; bribe.
verb (used without object),squared,squar·ing.
to accord or agree (often followed by with): Your theory does not square with the facts.
to settle, even, or balance a matter, as by paying a bill, returning a favor, or tying a score.
(of a cotton plant) to form buds.
formed by or as a right angle; having some part or parts rectangular: a square corner.
having four sides and four right angles in two dimensions or three pairs of parallel sides meeting at right angles in three dimensions; having each dimension in the shape of a square or rectangle and all angles right angles: a square box.
noting any unit of area measurement having the form of a square and designated by a unit of linear measurement forming a side of the square: one square foot.
noting a system of area measurement in terms of such units.
(of an area) equal to a square of a specified length on a side: five miles square.
at right angles, or perpendicular.
Nautical. at right angles to the mast and the keel, as a yard.
having a square or rectangular section: a square bar.
having a solid, sturdy form, especially when characterized by a rectilinear or angular outline.
straight, level, or even, as a surface.
leaving no balance of debt on either side; having all accounts settled: I'm all square with my landlord.
just, fair, or honest.
straightforward, direct, or unequivocal.
Slang. conventional or conservative in style or outlook; not hip.
so as to be square; in square or rectangular form.
at right angles.
fairly or honestly.
directly or straightforwardly.
square around,Baseball. (of a bunter) to shift the feet and body from a conventional batting stance to a position facing the pitcher, with the bat held across and in front of the body.
- Nautical.to arrange the yards so as to sail before the wind.
- to prepare; get ready: Square away for dinner.
- to assume a position of defense or offense: The wrestlers squared away for the first fall.
- to organize or complete satisfactorily; put in order: I want to square away the work before going on vacation.
- to assume a posture of defense or offense, as in boxing: They squared off for a fight.
- to prepare to dispute with another; show signs of opposition or resistance: The governor and the legislature are squaring off over the landfill issue.
square up,to pay or settle an account, bill, etc.: We squared up with the cashier and checked out of the hotel.
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Idioms about square
- at right angles.
- Informal.straightforward; honest; just: Their dealings with us have always been on the square.
- not at right angles.
- not in agreement; incorrect; irregular: The inspector's conclusions are out of square with his earlier report.
square the circle, to strive without chance of success; attempt the impossible.
Origin of square
1250–1300; (noun) Middle English <Old French esquar(r)e<Vulgar Latin *exquadra, derivative of *exquadrāre (Latin ex-ex-1 + quadrāre to square; see quadrate); (v.) Middle English squaren<Old French esquarrer<Vulgar Latin *exquadrāre; (adj.) Middle English <Old French esquarré, past participle of esquarrer; (adv.) derivative of the adj.
OTHER WORDS FROM square
Words nearby square
squamous suture, squamozygomatic, squamulose, squander, Squanto, square, square away, square-bashing, square bracket, square centimeter, square dance
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021
Words related to square
rectangular, center, space, plaza, area, green, circle, even, fair, straight, equal, objective, upright, nonpartisan, sporting, quadrate, quadratic, equilateral, foursquare, squared
How to use square in a sentence
For starters there are the 100,000 trillion photons arriving every second at every square centimeter of Earth’s dayside surface, after racing here from the outer envelope of a natural giant thermonuclear reactor we call the sun.
The Universe Has Made Almost All the Stars It Will Ever Make - Issue 89: The Dark Side|Caleb Scharf|August 19, 2020|Nautilus
It makes the same prediction for spaces of every dimension — that in covering, say, 12-dimensional space using 12-dimensional “square” tiles, you will end up with at least two tiles that abut each other exactly.
Computer Search Settles 90-Year-Old Math Problem|Kevin Hartnett|August 19, 2020|Quanta Magazine
Treating arid land with LNC costs $2 to $5 per square meter, far more than many farmers can afford.
A Norwegian Startup Is Turning Dry Deserts Into Fertile Cropland|Vanessa Bates Ramirez|August 19, 2020|Singularity Hub
Most of these were “gridworlds”—literally two-dimensional grids with objects in some squares.
DeepMind’s Newest AI Programs Itself to Make All the Right Decisions|Jason Dorrier|July 26, 2020|Singularity Hub
The median sales price of homes in Cheesman Park is $350,000 with an average of $401 per square foot.
Denver: Where the Queer Community is a Mile High|LGBTQ-Editor|July 14, 2020|No Straight News
Some longtime local acquaintances are struggling to square the man they know with the ugly associations.
No. 3 Republican Admits Talking to White Supremacist Conference|Tim Mak|December 30, 2014|DAILY BEAST
This last trip it had felt as if there were more cameras around Havana than Times Square.
The Life and Hard Times Of The Family A Cuban Defector Left Behind|Brin-Jonathan Butler|December 19, 2014|DAILY BEAST
Records describe this house as 6,916 square feet, with six bedrooms and eight bathrooms.
The Luxury Homes That Torture and Your Tax Dollars Built|Michael Daly|December 12, 2014|DAILY BEAST
The international media had been waiting on Wenceslas Square since early afternoon.
How Havel Inspired the Velvet Revolution|Michael Zantovsky|December 6, 2014|DAILY BEAST
In the afternoon, about a thousand people marched in protest through the largest Prague square, with police nowhere in sight.
How Havel Inspired the Velvet Revolution|Michael Zantovsky|December 6, 2014|DAILY BEAST
Nowhere can be found a region capable of supporting a larger population to the square mile than Lombardy.
Glances at Europe|Horace Greeley
For years his lordship was seldom seen in London, the great house in Grosvenor Square was never opened.
The Pit Town Coronet, Volume I (of 3)|Charles James Wills
She opened the door of a square room with large roses on the white wall-paper, and fine old mahogany furniture.
I would not just then have traded off that steamboat for several square miles of snow-capped sublimity.
Glances at Europe|Horace Greeley
The building, which has five storeys, stands on three sides of a square courtyard, and faces into Edmund Street.
Showell's Dictionary of Birmingham|Thomas T. Harman and Walter Showell
British Dictionary definitions for square
a plane geometric figure having four equal sides and four right anglesCompare rectangle, rhombus
any object, part, or arrangement having this or a similar shapea square of carpet; a square on a chess board
(capital when part of name)an open area in a town, sometimes including the surrounding buildings, which may form a square
mathsthe product of two equal factors; the second power9 is the square of 3, written 3²
an instrument having two strips of wood, metal, etc, set in the shape of a T or L, used for constructing or testing right angles
cricketthe closely-cut area in the middle of a ground on which wickets are prepared
a body of soldiers drawn up in the form of a square
rowingthe position of the blade of an oar perpendicular to the surface of the water just before and during a stroke
informala person who is old-fashioned in views, customs, appearance, etc
astrologyan aspect of about 90° between two planets, etcSee conjunction (def. 5), opposition (def. 9), trine (def. 1)
obsoletea standard, pattern, or rule
back to square oneindicating a return to the starting-point of an investigation, experiment, etc, because of failure, lack of progress, etc
- at right angles
- on equal terms
- informalhonestly and openly
- slanga phrase identifying someone as a Freemasonhe is on the square
- not at right angles or not having a right angle
- not in order or agreement
being a square in shape
having or forming one or more right angles or being at right angles to something
square or rectangular in sectiona square bar
- (prenominal)denoting a measure of area of any shapea circle of four square feet
- (immediately postpositive)denoting a square having a specified length on each sidea board four feet square contains 16 square feet
fair and honest (esp in the phrase a square deal)
straight, even, or levela square surface
cricketat right angles to the wicketsquare leg
sportin a straight line across the pitcha square pass
nautical(of the sails of a square-rigger) set at right angles to the keel
informalold-fashioned in views, customs, appearance, etc
stocky or sturdysquare shoulders
(postpositive)having no remaining debts or accounts to be settled
(of a horse's gait) sound, steady, or regular
(prenominal)unequivocal or straightforwarda square contradiction
(postpositive)neat and tidy
maths(of a matrix) having the same number of rows and columns
all squareon equal terms; even in score
square pegorsquare peg in a round holeinformala person or thing that is a misfit, such as an employee in a job for which he is unsuited
to make into a square or similar shape
mathsto raise (a number or quantity) to the second power
to test or adjust for deviation with respect to a right angle, plane surface, etc
(sometimes foll by off)to divide into squares
to position so as to be rectangular, straight, or levelsquare the shoulders
(sometimes foll by up)to settle (debts, accounts, etc)
to level (the score) in a game, etc
(also intr often foll by with) to agree or cause to agreeyour ideas don't square with mine
rowingto turn (an oar) perpendicular to the surface of the water just before commencing a stroke
(in canoeing) to turn (a paddle) perpendicular to the direction of the canoe at the commencement of a strokeCompare feather (def. 15)
to arrange (something), esp by a corrupt method or come to an arrangement with (someone), as by bribery
square the circleto attempt the impossible (in reference to the insoluble problem of constructing a square having exactly the same area as a given circle)
in order to be square
at right angles
sportin a straight line across the pitchpass the ball square
See also square away, square off, square up
Derived forms of squaresquareness, nounsquarer, nounsquarish, adjective
Word Origin for square
C13: from Old French esquare, from Vulgar Latin exquadra (unattested), from Latin ex1 + quadrāre to make square; see quadrant
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Scientific definitions for square
A rectangle having four equal sides.
The product that results when a number or quantity is multiplied by itself. The square of 8, for example, is 64.
Of, being, or using units that express the measure of area.
To multiply a number, quantity, or expression by itself.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Cultural definitions for square
A number multiplied by itself, or raised to the second power. The square of three is nine; the square of nine is eighty-one.
The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Other Idioms and Phrases with square
In addition to the idioms beginning with square
- square away
- square deal
- square meal, a
- square off
- square one's shoulders
- square peg in a round hole
- square the circle
- square up
- square with
- back to the drawing board (square one)
- fair and square
- on the square
- round peg in a square hole
- shoot straight (square)
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.
1: an instrument having at least one right angle and two straight edges used especially to lay out or test right angles
2: a rectangle with all four sides equal
3: any of the quadrilateral spaces marked out on a board for playing games
4: the product of a number multiplied by itself
5a: an open place or area formed at the meeting of two or more streets
b: blocksense 6a
6: a solid object or piece approximating a cube or having a square as its largest face
7: an unopened cotton flower with its enclosing bracts
8: a person who is conventional or conservative in taste or way of life
9: a square mealate three squares a day
: not at an exact right angle
1a: having four equal sides and four right angles
b: forming a right anglesquare corner
c: having a square basea square pyramid
2: raised to the second power
3a: being approximately a cubesquare cabinet
b: having a shape that is broad for the height and rectangular rather than curving in outlinesquare shouldersa square, thick, hard-working man— Maria Edgeworth
c: rectangular and equilateral in sectionsquare tower
4a: being or converted to a unit of area equal in measure to a square each side of which measures one unit of a specified unit of lengtha square foot — see Metric System Table, Weights and Measures Table
b: being of a specified length in each of two equal dimensions10 feet square
5a: exactly adjusted : precisely constructed or aligned
b: just, faira square dealsquare in all his dealings
c: leaving no balance : settled
d: even, tied
e: substantial, satisfyingsquare meal
f: being unsophisticated, conservative, or conventional
6: set at right angles with the mast and keel—used of the yards of a square-rigged ship
1a: to make square or rectangularsquare a building stone
b: to test for deviation from a right angle, straight line, or plane surface
2: to bring approximately to a right anglesquared his shoulders
3a: to multiply (a number) by itself : raise to the second power
b: to find a square equal in area tosquare a circle
4: to regulate or adjust by or to some standard or principlesquare our actions by the opinions of others— John Milton
7a: to set right : bring into agreementsquared their goals with their beliefs
b: bribe, fix
1: to agree precisely : correspondyour actions should square with your words
2: to settle mattersespecially: to pay the bill
1: in a straightforward or honest manner
2a: so as to face or be face-to-face
b: at right angles
3: with nothing intervening : directlyran square into it
4: in a firm mannerlooked her square in the eye
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