View synonyms for square


[ skwair ]


  1. a rectangle having all four sides of equal length.
  2. anything having this form or a form approximating it, as a city block, rectangular piece of candy, etc.
  3. 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.

    Synonyms: park, place

  4. a rectangularly shaped area on a game board, as in chess or checkers.
  5. a try square, T square, or the like.
  6. Mathematics.
    1. the second power of a quantity, expressed as a2 = a × a, where a is the quantity.
    2. a quantity that is the second power of another:

      Four is the square of two.

  7. Slang. a person who is ignorant of or uninterested in current fads, ideas, manners, tastes, etc.; an old-fashioned, conventional, or conservative person.
  8. Military. (formerly) a body of troops drawn up in quadrilateral form.
  9. Building Trades. a unit of measure for roofing materials, equal to 100 square feet (9.3 sq. m).
  10. a flower bud of the cotton plant.
  11. Nautical. the area at the bottom of a hatchway.
  12. Usually squares. Informal. a square meal:

    to get three squares a day.

  13. 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.
  14. Obsolete. a pattern, standard, or example.

verb (used with object)

, squared, squar·ing.
  1. to reduce to square, rectangular, or cubical form (often followed by off ):

    He squared off the log to make a timber for his house.

  2. to mark out in one or more squares or rectangles.
  3. to test with measuring devices for deviation from a right angle, straight line, or plane surface.
  4. Mathematics.
    1. to multiply (a number or quantity) by itself; raise to the second power.
    2. to describe or find a square that is equivalent in area to:

      to square a circle.

  5. to bring to the form of a right angle or right angles; set at right angles to something else.
  6. to even the score of (a contest):

    to square a game.

  7. to set (the shoulders and back) in an erect posture so they form an angle similar to a right angle.
  8. to make straight, level, or even:

    Square the cloth on the table.

    Synonyms: straighten

  9. to regulate, as by a standard; adapt; adjust.

    Synonyms: rectify

  10. to adjust harmoniously or satisfactorily (often followed by with ):

    How could you square such actions with your conscience?

  11. to balance; pay off; settle:

    to square a debt.

  12. Slang. to secure a desired action or attitude by means of bribery; bribe.

verb (used without object)

, squared, squar·ing.
  1. to accord or agree (often followed by with ):

    Your theory does not square with the facts.

  2. to settle, even, or balance a matter, as by paying a bill, returning a favor, or tying a score.
  3. (of a cotton plant) to form buds.


, squar·er, squar·est.
  1. formed by or as a right angle; having some part or parts rectangular:

    a square corner.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. noting a system of area measurement in terms of such units.
  5. (of an area) equal to a square of a specified length on a side:

    five miles square.

  6. at right angles, or perpendicular.
  7. Nautical. at right angles to the mast and the keel, as a yard.
  8. having a square or rectangular section:

    a square bar.

  9. having a solid, sturdy form, especially when characterized by a rectilinear or angular outline.
  10. straight, level, or even, as a surface.
  11. leaving no balance of debt on either side; having all accounts settled:

    I'm all square with my landlord.

    Synonyms: balanced

  12. just, fair, or honest.
  13. straightforward, direct, or unequivocal.

    Synonyms: straight, downright

  14. Slang. conventional or conservative in style or outlook; not hip.


  1. so as to be square; in square or rectangular form.
  2. at right angles.
  3. fairly or honestly.
  4. directly or straightforwardly.

verb phrase

    1. to assume a posture of defense or offense, as in boxing:

      They squared off for a fight.

    2. to prepare to dispute with another; show signs of opposition or resistance:

      The governor and the legislature are squaring off over the landfill issue.

  1. 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.
    1. Nautical. to arrange the yards so as to sail before the wind.
    2. to prepare; get ready:

      Square away for dinner.

    3. to assume a position of defense or offense:

      The wrestlers squared away for the first fall.

    4. to organize or complete satisfactorily; put in order:

      I want to square away the work before going on vacation.


/ skwɛə /


  1. a plane geometric figure having four equal sides and four right angles Compare rectangle rhombus
  2. any object, part, or arrangement having this or a similar shape

    a square on a chess board

    a square of carpet

  3. capital when part of name an open area in a town, sometimes including the surrounding buildings, which may form a square
  4. maths the product of two equal factors; the second power

    9 is the square of 3, written 3²

  5. 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
  6. cricket the closely-cut area in the middle of a ground on which wickets are prepared
  7. a body of soldiers drawn up in the form of a square
  8. rowing the position of the blade of an oar perpendicular to the surface of the water just before and during a stroke
  9. informal.
    a person who is old-fashioned in views, customs, appearance, etc
  10. astrology an aspect of about 90° between two planets, etc See conjunction opposition trine
  11. obsolete.
    a standard, pattern, or rule
  12. back to square one
    indicating a return to the starting-point of an investigation, experiment, etc, because of failure, lack of progress, etc
  13. on the square
    1. at right angles
    2. on equal terms
    3. honestly and openly
    4. a phrase identifying someone as a Freemason

      he is on the square

  14. out of square
    1. not at right angles or not having a right angle
    2. not in order or agreement
“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


  1. being a square in shape
  2. having or forming one or more right angles or being at right angles to something
  3. square or rectangular in section

    a square bar

    1. prenominal denoting a measure of area of any shape

      a circle of four square feet

    2. immediately postpositive denoting a square having a specified length on each side

      a board four feet square contains 16 square feet

  4. fair and honest (esp in the phrase a square deal )
  5. straight, even, or level

    a square surface

  6. cricket at right angles to the wicket

    square leg

  7. sport in a straight line across the pitch

    a square pass

  8. nautical (of the sails of a square-rigger) set at right angles to the keel
  9. informal.
    old-fashioned in views, customs, appearance, etc
  10. stocky or sturdy

    square shoulders

  11. postpositive having no remaining debts or accounts to be settled
  12. (of a horse's gait) sound, steady, or regular
  13. prenominal unequivocal or straightforward

    a square contradiction

  14. postpositive neat and tidy
  15. maths (of a matrix) having the same number of rows and columns
  16. all square
    on equal terms; even in score
  17. square peg or square peg in a round hole informal.
    a person or thing that is a misfit, such as an employee in a job for which he is unsuited
“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


  1. to make into a square or similar shape
  2. maths to raise (a number or quantity) to the second power
  3. to test or adjust for deviation with respect to a right angle, plane surface, etc
  4. sometimes foll by off to divide into squares
  5. to position so as to be rectangular, straight, or level

    square the shoulders

  6. sometimes foll by up to settle (debts, accounts, etc)
  7. to level (the score) in a game, etc
  8. also introften foll bywith to agree or cause to agree

    your ideas don't square with mine

  9. rowing to turn (an oar) perpendicular to the surface of the water just before commencing a stroke
  10. (in canoeing) to turn (a paddle) perpendicular to the direction of the canoe at the commencement of a stroke Compare feather
  11. to arrange (something), esp by a corrupt method or come to an arrangement with (someone), as by bribery
  12. square the circle
    to attempt the impossible (in reference to the insoluble problem of constructing a square having exactly the same area as a given circle)
“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


  1. in order to be square
  2. at right angles
  3. sport in a straight line across the pitch

    pass the ball square

  4. informal.
“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


/ skwâr /


  1. A rectangle having four equal sides.
  2. The product that results when a number or quantity is multiplied by itself. The square of 8, for example, is 64.


  1. Of, being, or using units that express the measure of area.


  1. To multiply a number, quantity, or expression by itself.


  1. A number multiplied by itself, or raised to the second power . The square of three is nine; the square of nine is eighty-one.

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Derived Forms

  • ˈsquarer, noun
  • ˈsquarish, adjective
  • ˈsquareness, noun
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Other Words From

  • squar·a·ble adjective
  • square·like adjective
  • square·ness noun
  • squar·er noun
  • un·squar·a·ble adjective
  • un·squared adjective
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Word History and Origins

Origin of square1

First recorded in 1250–1300; (noun) Middle English, from Old French esquar(r)e, from unrecorded Vulgar Latin exquadra, derivative of unattested exquadrāre ( Latin ex- ex- 1 + quadrāre to square; quadrate ); (verb) Middle English squaren, from Old French esquarrer, from unrecorded Vulgar Latin exquadrāre; (adjective) Middle English, from Old French esquarré, past participle of esquarrer; (adverb) derivative of the adjective
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Word History and Origins

Origin of square1

C13: from Old French esquare , from Vulgar Latin exquadra (unattested), from Latin ex 1+ quadrāre to make square; see quadrant
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Idioms and Phrases

  1. on the square,
    1. at right angles.
    2. Informal. straightforward; honest; just:

      Their dealings with us have always been on the square.

  2. out of square,
    1. not at right angles.
    2. not in agreement; incorrect; irregular:

      The inspector's conclusions are out of square with his earlier report.

  3. square the circle, to strive without chance of success; attempt the impossible.

More idioms and phrases containing square

  • back to the drawing board (square one)
  • fair and square
  • on the square
  • round peg in a square hole
  • shoot straight (square)
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Example Sentences

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.

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.

Treating arid land with LNC costs $2 to $5 per square meter, far more than many farmers can afford.

Most of these were “gridworlds”—literally two-dimensional grids with objects in some squares.

The median sales price of homes in Cheesman Park is $350,000 with an average of $401 per square foot.

Some longtime local acquaintances are struggling to square the man they know with the ugly associations.

This last trip it had felt as if there were more cameras around Havana than Times Square.

Records describe this house as 6,916 square feet, with six bedrooms and eight bathrooms.

The international media had been waiting on Wenceslas Square since early afternoon.

In the afternoon, about a thousand people marched in protest through the largest Prague square, with police nowhere in sight.

Nowhere can be found a region capable of supporting a larger population to the square mile than Lombardy.

For years his lordship was seldom seen in London, the great house in Grosvenor Square was never opened.

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.

The building, which has five storeys, stands on three sides of a square courtyard, and faces into Edmund Street.


Definitions and idiom definitions from Unabridged, based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

Idioms from The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.




Squantosquare away