square one's shoulders


Prepare to face adversity, as in She knew it wouldn't be easy but she squared her shoulders and faced the hostile audience. This expression transfers standing erect with the shoulders pulled back, forming an angle much like a square's right angle, to the situations calling for this stance. It was first recorded in 1819.

QUIZZES

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Question 1 of 9
You may have read the word "simmer" in a recipe or two, but what does it really mean?
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.