\ˈskwer \

Definition of square 

(Entry 1 of 4)

1 : an instrument having at least one right angle and two straight edges used especially to lay out or test right angles

2 : a rectangle with all four sides equal

3 : any of the quadrilateral spaces marked out on a board for playing games

4 : the product of a number multiplied by itself

5a : an open place or area formed at the meeting of two or more streets

b : block sense 6a

6 : a solid object or piece approximating a cube or having a square as its largest face

7 : an unopened cotton flower with its enclosing bracts

8 : a person who is conventional or conservative in taste or way of life

9 : a square meal ate three squares a day

on the square

1 : at right angles

2 : in a fair open manner : honestly

out of square

: not at an exact right angle


squarer; squarest

Definition of square (Entry 2 of 4)

1a : having four equal sides and four right angles

b : forming a right angle square corner

c : having a square base a square pyramid

2 : raised to the second power

3a : being approximately a cube square cabinet

b : having a shape that is broad for the height and rectangular rather than curving in outline square shoulders a square, thick, hard-working man— Maria Edgeworth

c : rectangular and equilateral in section square tower

4a : being or converted to a unit of area equal in measure to a square each side of which measures one unit of a specified unit of length a square foot — see Metric System Table, Weights and Measures Table

b : being of a specified length in each of two equal dimensions 10 feet square

5a : exactly adjusted : precisely constructed or aligned

b : just, fair a square deal square in all his dealings

c : leaving no balance : settled

d : even, tied

e : substantial, satisfying square meal

f : being unsophisticated, conservative, or conventional

6 : set at right angles with the mast and keel used of the yards of a square-rigged ship


squared; squaring

Definition of square (Entry 3 of 4)

transitive verb

1a : to make square or rectangular square a building stone

b : to test for deviation from a right angle, straight line, or plane surface

2 : to bring approximately to a right angle squared his shoulders

3a : to multiply (a number) by itself : raise to the second power

b : to find a square equal in area to square a circle

4 : to regulate or adjust by or to some standard or principle square our actions by the opinions of others— John Milton

5a : balance, settle square an account

b : to even the score of

6 : to mark off into squares

7a : to set right : bring into agreement squared their goals with their beliefs

b : bribe, fix

intransitive verb

1 : to agree precisely : correspond your actions should square with your words

2 : to settle matters especially : to pay the bill



Definition of square (Entry 4 of 4)

1 : in a straightforward or honest manner

2a : so as to face or be face-to-face

b : at right angles

3 : with nothing intervening : directly ran square into it

4 : in a firm manner looked her square in the eye

5 : in a square shape

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Other Words from square


squareness noun


squarer noun

Examples of square in a Sentence


The fabric is decorated with circles and squares. Cut the brownies into squares. The board has red and black squares.


The room has four square corners. received a square hearing from the disciplinary panel


The machine squares the wood into flat boards. If you square 3, you get 9.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Video posted on social media sites showed a mob kicking one of the men in the town square and beating him with cudgels and fists. Fox News, "Mexico mob kills detective, injures 3 others in attack," 28 Sep. 2018 Their incompetence and arrogance during qualifying denied us our own display of delirious national pride like the ones in town squares across Europe, South America and, ugh, rival Mexico. Rich Campbell, chicagotribune.com, "Missing World Cup can't be in vain for U.S. men's national team," 13 July 2018 Liyaqat Ali, owner of the Singay General Store in the main town square, figured that there is room enough for both him and Amazon. New York Times, "Delivering Amazon Packages to the Top of the World," 2 July 2018 Cheers and laughter were heard in the town square at the Yavapai County Courthouse, where nearly two thousand people gathered. Bayan Wang, azcentral, "Prescott, still healing, honors 19 fallen Granite Mountain Hotshots five years later," 30 June 2018 In the metaphor by Niall Ferguson quoted at the start of this report, rather than tear down the data towers, the task at hand is to create a sufficiently vibrant digital town square to make diversity flourish. The Economist, "The art of the possibleThere is no single solution to making the internet more decentralised," 28 June 2018 On a recent Tuesday evening, Oglesbee was one of three attending the City Council budget meeting, asking for $50,000 to qualify for a state grant to spruce up the town square. Emily Foxhall, San Antonio Express-News, "In parts of small-town Texas, the Dairy Queen is closing up," 27 June 2018 The band will be part of a Musical Salute to Liberation June 2 in the town square of Sainte-Mère-Église, the first major location liberated by the Allied landing in Normandy, and will join a D-Day parade there that afternoon. Lawrence Toppman, charlotteobserver, "His great-uncle died at D-Day in Normandy. Now this veteran, and his bandmates, will march there. | Charlotte Observer," 23 May 2018 Eat: Armando Palacios, known for his Armando's restaurant in Houston's River Oaks neighborhood, has opened Mandito's (102 S. Washington) near the town square, serving Tex-Mex fare and margaritas. Houston Chronicle, "Austin, Waco, New Orleans and more: An easy guide to easy getaways from Houston," 10 May 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

The plan is anchored by two new terminals at each end, which will add some four million square feet of space, enough to comfortably accommodate an additional 15 million passengers annually. Barbara Peterson, Condé Nast Traveler, "New York's Airports Are Getting Billion-Dollar Makeovers—But What Will They Actually Change?," 21 Nov. 2018 The new location has about 70% more square footage than the current, somewhat cramped store. Glenn Fleishman, Fortune, "Amazon Will Supersize Its Second Grab-and-Go Grocery in Seattle," 3 July 2018 At the time, the prevailing logic was that condo buyers would only trade square footage for beautiful waterfront views. Donna Bloom, miamiherald, "In 50 years of Miami real estate, I’ve seen these five big changes," 29 June 2018 But Schmelder and Dangerfield added to the home's square footage by building an enviable master suite that has a remarkable sight line through the entire home. Lisa Van Loo, azcentral, "Phoenix couple puts 'blood, sweat and tears' into historic 1925 Coronado renovation," 28 June 2018 Tesla in 2016 revealed plans to slowly build out the factory site over time, potentially doubling the square footage of an auto plant that, under a string of owners, has been a key element of the Bay Area economy for more than half a century. David R. Baker, SFChronicle.com, "Tesla’s rush to crank up production revealed in building permits," 28 June 2018 And real estate experts agree that the kind of space required for a tech powerhouse — as in, hundreds of thousands of Class A square footage with the type of collaborative environment made popular by WeWork — just doesn’t exist downtown. Jennifer Van Grove, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Will a Horton Plaza office campus change the character of downtown?," 15 June 2018 The developer adds that although The New Yorker has no vacancies, there are still plenty of options out there for those willing to give up luxurious amenities, fancy finishes and square footage for a home in the heart of the city. Sarah Gish, kansascity, "No vacancy: This historic downtown KC hotel has 'micro' apartments for $525 a month," 14 June 2018 Trademark exceeded those square-footage requirements. Sandra Baker, star-telegram, "Waterside owner sues Houston developer to recoup more than $1 million in lost incentive," 31 May 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

While some people do have multiple iPhones, not many do, and syncing like this most often helps users keep things squared between an iPhone and an iPad. Samuel Axon, Ars Technica, "iOS 12.1 beta suggests a new iPad is coming this fall," 19 Sep. 2018 The higher the r-squared, the better job a variable does of predicting state-level physical activity rates. Christopher Ingraham, chicagotribune.com, "More money, more fitness: Why people in the wealthiest states get more exercise," 5 July 2018 After receiving the ball at the top, Vick saw the 6-10 Williams square up to guard him. Jesse Newell, kansascity, "Why this KU team needs more out of Lagerald Vick," 27 Jan. 2018 Aikens rallied on his inward nine and squared up his match vs. O’Leary with a birdie on No. Mia Berry, BostonGlobe.com, "Defending MassAm champion Matt Parziale falls in quarters," 12 July 2018 On a busy avenue between Syntagma and Omonia squares stands one of the city’s few substantial late 19th century buildings to survive brutal postwar development. Washington Post, "AP PHOTOS: Life, and value, for derelict Greek properties," 10 July 2018 The next at-bat, once again in complete command of the count — ahead 2-0 — Jones squared up a big swing and fell a few feet short of a home run. Anthony Fenech, Detroit Free Press, "Tigers' growing pains aren't easy but Gardenhire is proud of fight," 14 July 2018 Bars and squares steadily filled up and people from airports to offices looked for the nearest TV to huddle around. Beatrice Christofaro And Marcelo Silva De Souza, chicagotribune.com, "Brazil fans lament World Cup elimination against Belgium," 7 July 2018 According to the sources who spoke with the Chicago publication, the inquiry is examining whether the Capitol Hill testimony of CEO Mark Zuckerberg and public statements of other officials square with the facts of the case. Christopher Carbone, Fox News, "Facebook data sharing scandal: Probe of tech giant and Cambridge Analytica widens," 3 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb

The women introduced new aesthetic choices to note — such as the fact that nearly all of them wore square-cut, collarless jackets or brightly colored blazers, occasionally long enough to suggest a lab coat. Kaitlyn Tiffany, Vox, "Silicon Valley brings its “humanist,” “minimalist” aesthetic to Brooklyn.," 31 Oct. 2018 Sullen Place 3235, Ivory St. 6405, Riverside subdivision, lots 16, 17, square 249: Doris F. Alveris to Theresa F. Ross, donation, partial interest. Kendra Parks, NOLA.com, "New Orleans real estate transfers for April 28-May 4, 2018," 30 May 2018 The bling features both square-cut and pear-cut diamonds, coupled together on what appears to be one band. Dave Quinn, PEOPLE.com, "Emily Ratajkowski Finally Gets a Mega Two-Stone Engagement Ring - 4 Months After Her Wedding," 12 July 2018 Exercise isn't traditionally part of Chinese culture, barring some aunties square-dancing in the park and a few tai chi practitioners on the sidelines. Nanlin Fang, CNN, "Chinese women's newest accessory: six-pack abs," 29 May 2018 JEFFERSON Shrewsbury subdivision, lot 11, square 126: Walter J. Mcdowell to Christian A. Lombardo, $5,000. Nola.com Digital Operations, NOLA.com, "East Jefferson real estate transfers for Dec. 11-14, 2017," 29 Dec. 2017 Some 300 people gathered Sunday in the city's Plaza Mayor square, waving Spanish red and yellow flags and chanting slogans in favor of Spanish unity. Bloomberg.com, "The Latest on Catalonia's Independence Referendum," 2 Oct. 2017 In the first months of 2014, a mass protest in Kiev’s Maidan square forced Ukraine’s pro-Russian president, Victor Yanukovych, to leave office. Seth J. Frantzman, National Review, "Ukraine’s Army Needs Equipment from the U.S., Not All of It Weapons," 18 Aug. 2017 Anders is scheduled square off against Rafael Natal at UFC on FOX 25 on July 22 at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Long Island, New York. Mark Inabinett, AL.com, "Former Alabama linebacker Eryk Anders set to make UFC debut," 13 July 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'square.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of square


13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


14th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a


circa 1582, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for square


Middle English, from Anglo-French esquarre, from Vulgar Latin *exquadra, from *exquadrare to square, from Latin ex- + quadrare to square — more at quadrate

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Statistics for square

Last Updated

1 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for square

The first known use of square was in the 13th century

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More Definitions for square



English Language Learners Definition of square

 (Entry 1 of 4)

: a four-sided shape that is made up of four straight sides that are the same length and that has four right angles

: any of the squares on a board for playing games (such as chess and checkers)

mathematics : the number that results from multiplying a number by itself



English Language Learners Definition of square (Entry 2 of 4)

: shaped like a square : having four straight sides that are the same length and four right angles at each corner

: forming a right angle

: shaped more like a right angle than a curve



English Language Learners Definition of square (Entry 3 of 4)

: to make (something) square : to give (something) straight edges, flat surfaces, or sharp, even corners

mathematics : to multiply (a number) by itself

: to pay money that is owed for (something)



English Language Learners Definition of square (Entry 4 of 4)

: in a direct way


\ˈskwer \

Kids Definition of square

 (Entry 1 of 4)

1 : a flat geometric figure that has four equal sides and four right angles

2 : something formed with four equal or roughly equal sides and four right angles the squares of a checkerboard

3 : the product of a number or amount multiplied by itself

4 : an open place or area where two or more streets meet

5 : a tool having at least one right angle and two or more straight edges used to mark or test right angles a carpenter's square


squarer; squarest

Kids Definition of square (Entry 2 of 4)

1 : having four equal sides and four right angles a square room

2 : being a unit of area consisting of a figure with four right angles and four sides of a given length a square meter

3 : having a specified length in each of two equal dimensions The room is ten feet square.

4 : having outlines that suggest sharp corners rather than curves a square jaw

5 : forming a right angle a square corner

6 : just entry 1 sense 4, fair a square deal

7 : not owing anything : even I paid you back so we're square.

8 : large enough to satisfy a square meal

Other Words from square

squarely adverb


squared; squaring

Kids Definition of square (Entry 3 of 4)

1 : to form with right angles, straight edges, and flat surfaces I need to square off the boards.

2 : to make straight I sat before the boss and squared my shoulders.

3 : to multiply a number by itself

4 : agree sense 4 Your story does not square with the facts.

5 : settle entry 1 sense 11 Let's square our accounts.



Kids Definition of square (Entry 4 of 4)

: in a direct, firm, or honest way She won fair and square. He looked me square in the eye.


\ˈskwa(ə)r, ˈskwe(ə)r \

Medical Definition of square 

: being or converted to a unit of area equal in measure to a square each side of which measures one unit of a specified unit of length a square foot

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Legal Definition of square 

: fitting the factual or legal situation at bar we have been shown no square holding of a Florida court to that effectMilhet Caterers, Inc. v. North Western Meat, Inc., 185 So. 2d 196 (1966)

Other Words from square

squarely adverb

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More from Merriam-Webster on square

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with square

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for square

Spanish Central: Translation of square

Nglish: Translation of square for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of square for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about square

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