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square one

a starting point; initial stage or step:
If this plan fails, we'll have to go back to square one.
Origin of square one
First recorded in 1955-60; alluding to board games in which a player is penalized by being forced to return to the starting point Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Slang definitions & phrases for square one

square one

noun phrase

The place where some process begins or has begun; the original configuration: So after all this fuss we are at square one again

Related Terms

go back to square one, back to square one

[1960+; fr board games where a token is moved off the first square after the shake of a die, drawing of a card, etc]

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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