- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- square away,
- 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.
- square off,
- 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.
- on the square,
- at right angles.
- Informal.straightforward; honest; just: Their dealings with us have always been on the square.
- out of 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
- 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
- maths the 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
- cricket the 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
- rowing the position of the blade of an oar perpendicular to the surface of the water just before and during a stroke
- informal a person who is old-fashioned in views, customs, appearance, etc
- astrology an aspect of about 90° between two planets, etcSee conjunction (def. 5), opposition (def. 9), trine (def. 1)
- obsolete a standard, pattern, or rule
- back to square one indicating a return to the starting-point of an investigation, experiment, etc, because of failure, lack of progress, etc
- on the square
- at right angles
- on equal terms
- informalhonestly and openly
- slanga phrase identifying someone as a Freemasonhe is on the square
- out of 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
- cricket at right angles to the wicketsquare leg
- sport in a straight line across the pitcha square pass
- nautical (of the sails of a square-rigger) set at right angles to the keel
- informal old-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 square on equal terms; even in score
- 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
- to make into a square or similar shape
- maths to 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
- rowing to 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 circle to 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
- sport in a straight line across the pitchpass the ball square
- informal squarely
Word Origin and History for square the circle
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 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.
A number multiplied by itself, or raised to the second power. The square of three is nine; the square of nine is eighty-one.
Idioms and Phrases with square the circle
square the circle
Try to do the impossible, as in Getting that bill through the legislature is the same as trying to square the circle. This idiom alludes to the impossibility of turning a circle into a square. John Donne may have been the first to use it (Sermons, 1624): “Go not thou about to square either circle (God or thyself).”
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)