Meaning of “square” in the English Dictionary

"square" in English

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squarenoun [ C ]

uk /skweər/ us /skwer/

square noun [ C ] (SHAPE)

A2 a flat shape with four sides of equal length and four angles of 90°:

First draw a square.
It's a square-shaped room.

A2 any square-shaped object:

When cooled, cut the chocolate brownies into squares.

A2 an area of approximately square-shaped land in a city or a town, often including the buildings that surround it:

Are they still living at 6 Eaton Square?
A band were playing in the town square.

a particular space on a board used for playing games:

She moved her castle forward three squares.

US a tool for drawing or testing a right angle

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uk /skweər/ us /skwer/

square adjective (SHAPE)

A2 having the shape of a square:

The recipe recommends that you use a square cake tin.
He's got that square-jawed masculinity that a lot of women seem to find attractive.

written abbreviation sq., symbol 2 used with units of measurement of length to express the total size of an area:

The floor is 3 m wide by 5 m long, so its total area is 15 sq m.
The city itself covers 13 square miles.
Ensure that the exposed area is less than 2 cm2.

Square is used immediately after measurements of length when expressing the length of the four sides of a square-shaped area:

So you want carpet for a room that's eight metres square (= eight metres long and eight metres wide).

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square adjective (EQUAL)

informal equal or level:

Could you stand back from these shelves and tell me if they're square (= level)?
(all) square informal

If two people are all square, one of them has paid off a debt to the other and neither now owes or is owed any money.

If two teams or players are (all) square, they have an equal number of goals or points:

They're all square at 30 points each.


uk /skweər/ us /skwer/

(Definition of “square” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"square" in American English

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squarenoun [ C ]

us /skweər/

square noun [ C ] (SHAPE)

geometry a flat shape with four sides of equal length and four angles of 90°, or an area or object having this shape

square noun [ C ] (PLACE)

a small area of open land in a city or town, often one in the shape of a square

square noun [ C ] (PERSON)

dated slang a person who is old-fashioned

square noun [ C ] (RESULT OF MULTIPLYING)

the result of multiplying a number by itself:

The square of 7 is 49.

squareadjective [ -er/-est only ]

us /skwer, skwær/

square adjective [ -er/-est only ] (EQUAL)

having all debts paid or other matters arranged fairly:

I paid last time, so if you pay now, we’re square.
square deal

A square deal is a fair agreement:

All I want is a square deal.

square adjective [ -er/-est only ] (SHAPE)

having four sides of equal length and four angles of 90°:

They set up the square card tables for the bridge players.

abbreviation sq A square unit of measurement is an area that is a particular distance wide and the same distance long:

The box was three feet square.
The correct figure is 900 sq miles.

squareverb [ T ]

us /skwer, skwær/

square verb [ T ] (MULTIPLY)

mathematics to multiply a number by itself:

Ten squared equals a hundred.

(Definition of “square” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

"square" in Business English

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uk /skweər/ us written abbreviation UK sq, written abbreviation US sq.

MEASURES, PROPERTY used before units of measurement to describe the size of an area, especially an area of land. An area of 100 square metres is equal in size to 100 squares with sides that are 1 metre long:

100 square metres/kilometres/miles, etc. About 81,000 square metres of office space is due to be completed in the City this year.
100 square feet/foot/inches, etc. The house has 3 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms in about 4,700 square feet.
New Jersey has an average of well over 1,000 people per square mile.
Permeable concrete costs about $9 per square foot.

[ after noun ] MEASURES used after units of measurement to describe the size of an area. An area of 10 metres square is equal in size to a square with sides that are 10 metres long, or equal to 100 square metres:

10 metres/feet/foot, etc. square We will deliver items to a maximum size of three feet square.
10 miles/kilometres, etc. square The city has a population of 1 million crammed into an area only a few miles square.
be (all) square

to be in a situation in which everyone or everything is equal and no one has an advantage over anyone else:

Dealers claim that after Wednesday's bout of profit-taking, the market is 'all square' again.

if people are all square, all debts between them have been paid and no one owes or is owed any money:

If I give you another $5, then we're all square.

squarenoun [ C, usually singular ]

uk /skweər/ us

the result of multiplying a number by itself:

The square of 7 is 49.
be back to square one informal

to not have made any progress after trying to succeed or achieve something:

While congestion charging had an initial impact, many cities are almost back to square one in terms of traffic volumes.

See also


uk /skweər/ us

[ T ] FINANCE to reach an agreement with someone:

square sth with sb The company's full-year results will be postponed until it has squared a new agreement with its lenders.
A state-owned bank had to be brought in, in order to square the deal.

[ I ] also square up if two things that should be the same do not square, they seem different or show different results:

A Superior Court judge ruled that the tape and the officers' reports "didn't square".
square the books

ACCOUNTING to make sure that you have paid all the money you owe, or that you have received all the money that other people owe you:

Currency traders are squaring their books ahead of the long holiday weekend.
square the circle

to solve a very difficult situation or problem:

He will have to square the circle of how to sell at current prices while cutting the cost of production to make a profit.

(Definition of “square” from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

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