Definition of “back to square one” - English Dictionary

british dictionary

“back to square one” in British English

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back to square one

If you are back to square one, you have to start working on a plan from the beginning because your previous attempt failed completely:

If this doesn't work we're back to square one.

(Definition of “back to square one” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)