- 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.
verb (used with object), squared, squar·ing.
- 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.
verb (used without object), squared, squar·ing.
adjective, squar·er, squar·est.
- 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.
- 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.
Origin of square
Synonyms for square
- 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
- (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
verb (mainly tr)
Word Origin for square
c.1300, "tool for measuring right angles," from Old French esquire "a square, squareness," from Vulgar Latin *exquadra, from *exquadrare "to square," from Latin ex- "out" (see ex-) + quadrare "make square, set in order, complete" (see quadrant).
Meaning "rectangular shape or area" is recorded by late 14c.; replaced Old English feower-scyte. Sense of "open space in a town or park" is from 1680s. The mathematical sense of "a number multiplied by itself" is first recorded 1550s.
c.1300, "containing four equal sides and right angles," from square (n.). Meaning "honest, fair," is first attested 1560s; that of "straight, direct" is from 1804. Sense of "old-fashioned" is 1944, U.S. jazz slang, said to be from shape of a conductor's hand gestures in a regular four-beat rhythm. (Square-toes meant nearly the same thing in 1771, from a style of shoes then fallen from fashion.) Squaresville is attested from 1956. Square one "the beginning" is first recorded 1960, probably from board games; square dance first attested 1870.
late 14c.; with reference to accounts, from 1815; see square (n.). Related: Squared; squaring.
A number multiplied by itself, or raised to the second power. The square of three is nine; the square of nine is eighty-one.
Take a fighting stance, prepare to fight, as in As they squared off, the teacher came out and stopped them, or The ambassador said the two countries were squaring off. [First half of 1800s]
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)