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square noun 1 a two-dimensional figure with four sides of equal length and four right angles. 2 anything shaped like this. 3 an open space in a town, usually roughly square in shape, and the buildings that surround it. 4 an L-shaped or T-shaped instrument which is used for measuring angles, drawing straight lines, etc. 5 the number that is formed when a number is multiplied by itself, eg the square of 2 (usually written 22) is 4. 6 colloq someone who has traditional or old-fashioned values, tastes, ideas, etc. adj 1 shaped like a square or, sometimes, like a cube a square table a square box. 2 used with a defining measurement to denote the area of something The area of a rectangle whose sides are 2 feet by 3 feet would be 6 square feet. 3 angular; less rounded than normal a square jaw. 4 measuring almost the same in breadth as in length or height. 5 fair; honest a square deal. 6 complete; outright a square denial. 7 set at right angles. 8 said of a pass in football, hockey, etc: driven across the pitch as opposed to ahead towards the goal. 9 said of a line of defence in football, hockey, etc: having all the players in a line across the pitch, usually a sign of poor tactical play. 10 cricket positioned at right angles to the wicket played at square leg. 11 colloq, old use having traditional or old-fashioned values, tastes, ideas, etc. verb (squared, squaring) 1 to make square in shape, especially to make right-angled. 2 to multiply (a number) by itself. 3 to pay off or settle (a debt). 4 to make the scores level in (a match). 5 to mark with a pattern of squares. 6 in football, hockey, etc: to drive (the ball, a pass, etc) across the pitch. adverb 1 solidly and directly hit me square on the jaw. 2 fairly; honestly. 3 said of the defence of a football, hockey, etc team: in a square position The pass caught Rangers' defence square. squarely adverb. squareness noun. squarer noun. squarish adj. all square colloq 1 equal. 2 not in debt; with each side owing nothing. back to square one colloq returned to the situation as it was before, with no progress having been made. square the circle to do the impossible. square something with someone to get their approval or permission for it. square up to someone to prepare to fight them. square up to something to prepare to tackle it, especially in a brave way. square with something to agree or correspond with it.
ETYMOLOGY: 13c: from French esquarre to square.
square up to settle a bill, etc.
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