[ skwair ]
See synonyms for: squaresquared on Thesaurus.com

  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.

  1. 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.

  2. a rectangularly shaped area on a game board, as in chess or checkers.

  3. a try square, T square, or the like.

  4. Mathematics.

    • 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.

  5. Slang. a person who is ignorant of or uninterested in current fads, ideas, manners, tastes, etc.; an old-fashioned, conventional, or conservative person.

  6. Military. (formerly) a body of troops drawn up in quadrilateral form.

  7. Building Trades. a unit of measure for roofing materials, equal to 100 square feet (9.3 sq. m).

  8. a flower bud of the cotton plant.

  9. Nautical. the area at the bottom of a hatchway.

  10. Usually squares. Informal. a square meal: to get three squares a day.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  1. to test with measuring devices for deviation from a right angle, straight line, or plane surface.

  2. Mathematics.

    • 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.

  3. to bring to the form of a right angle or right angles; set at right angles to something else.

  4. to even the score of (a contest): to square a game.

  5. to set (the shoulders and back) in an erect posture so they form an angle similar to a right angle.

  6. to make straight, level, or even: Square the cloth on the table.

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

  8. to adjust harmoniously or satisfactorily (often followed by with): How could you square such actions with your conscience?

  9. to balance; pay off; settle: to square a debt.

  10. 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.

  1. (of a cotton plant) to form buds.

adjective,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.

  1. 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.

  2. noting a system of area measurement in terms of such units.

  3. (of an area) equal to a square of a specified length on a side: five miles square.

  4. at right angles, or perpendicular.

  5. Nautical. at right angles to the mast and the keel, as a yard.

  6. having a square or rectangular section: a square bar.

  7. having a solid, sturdy form, especially when characterized by a rectilinear or angular outline.

  8. straight, level, or even, as a surface.

  9. leaving no balance of debt on either side; having all accounts settled: I'm all square with my landlord.

  10. just, fair, or honest.

  11. straightforward, direct, or unequivocal.

  12. 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.

  1. fairly or honestly.

  2. directly or straightforwardly.

Verb Phrases
  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. square up. See entry at square up.

Idioms about square

  1. on the square,

    • at right angles.

    • Informal. straightforward; honest; just: Their dealings with us have always been on the square.

  2. out of square,

    • not at right angles.

    • not in agreement; incorrect; irregular: The inspector's conclusions are out of square with his earlier report.

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

Origin of square

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; see 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

Other words for square

Other words from square

  • squar·a·ble, adjective
  • square·like, adjective
  • square·ness, noun
  • squar·er, noun
  • un·squar·a·ble, adjective
  • un·squared, adjective

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use square in a sentence

  • Troops are now stationed every where round the country, which exactly squares with my ideas.

  • In vain the French cavalry charged the English squares, still unshaken by artillery and infantry fire.

    Napoleon's Marshals | R. P. Dunn-Pattison
  • I don't suppose he lies;—he sells it to the editor, who knows how many squares off "Sumatra" is.

  • The brown loaf was cut by a very excited little hostess into five thick squares; the cheese into four.

    The Box-Car Children | Gertrude Chandler Warner
  • Their view extended down the hillside divided into brown and green squares of cultivated fields.

    Honey-Bee | Anatole France

British Dictionary definitions for square


/ (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 of carpet; a square on a chess board

  1. (capital when part of name) an open area in a town, sometimes including the surrounding buildings, which may form a square

  2. maths the product of two equal factors; the second power: 9 is the square of 3, written 3²

  3. 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

  4. cricket the closely-cut area in the middle of a ground on which wickets are prepared

  5. a body of soldiers drawn up in the form of a square

  6. rowing the position of the blade of an oar perpendicular to the surface of the water just before and during a stroke

  7. informal a person who is old-fashioned in views, customs, appearance, etc

  8. astrology an aspect of about 90° between two planets, etc: See conjunction (def. 5), opposition (def. 9), trine (def. 1)

  9. obsolete a standard, pattern, or rule

  10. back to square one indicating a return to the starting-point of an investigation, experiment, etc, because of failure, lack of progress, etc

  11. on the square

    • at right angles

    • on equal terms

    • informal honestly and openly

    • slang a phrase identifying someone as a Freemason: he is on the square

  12. out of square

    • not at right angles or not having a right angle

    • not in order or agreement

  1. being a square in shape

  2. having or forming one or more right angles or being at right angles to something

  1. square or rectangular in section: a square bar

    • (prenominal) denoting a measure of area of any shape: a circle of four square feet

    • (immediately postpositive) denoting a square having a specified length on each side: a board four feet square contains 16 square feet

  2. fair and honest (esp in the phrase a square deal)

  3. straight, even, or level: a square surface

  4. cricket at right angles to the wicket: square leg

  5. sport in a straight line across the pitch: a square pass

  6. nautical (of the sails of a square-rigger) set at right angles to the keel

  7. informal old-fashioned in views, customs, appearance, etc

  8. stocky or sturdy: square shoulders

  9. (postpositive) having no remaining debts or accounts to be settled

  10. (of a horse's gait) sound, steady, or regular

  11. (prenominal) unequivocal or straightforward: a square contradiction

  12. (postpositive) neat and tidy

  13. maths (of a matrix) having the same number of rows and columns

  14. all square on equal terms; even in score

  15. 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

verb(mainly tr)
  1. to make into a square or similar shape

  2. maths to raise (a number or quantity) to the second power

  1. to test or adjust for deviation with respect to a right angle, plane surface, etc

  2. (sometimes foll by off) to divide into squares

  3. to position so as to be rectangular, straight, or level: square the shoulders

  4. (sometimes foll by up) to settle (debts, accounts, etc)

  5. to level (the score) in a game, etc

  6. (also intr often foll by with) to agree or cause to agree: your ideas don't square with mine

  7. rowing to turn (an oar) perpendicular to the surface of the water just before commencing a stroke

  8. (in canoeing) to turn (a paddle) perpendicular to the direction of the canoe at the commencement of a stroke: Compare feather (def. 15)

  9. to arrange (something), esp by a corrupt method or come to an arrangement with (someone), as by bribery

  10. 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)

  1. in order to be square

  2. at right angles

  1. sport in a straight line across the pitch: pass the ball square

  2. informal squarely

Origin of square

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

Derived forms of square

  • squareness, noun
  • squarer, noun
  • squarish, adjective

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

Scientific definitions for square


[ 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.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Cultural definitions for square


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

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Other Idioms and Phrases with square


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

also see:

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

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