\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

Place the slices on foil squares, and dot with butter or drops of olive oil. Heloise, Houston Chronicle, "A yearning for Bootlegger Beans," 10 July 2018 Fear and frustration are very clearly spilling over into the public square, and our communities are divided as a result. charlotteobserver, "Ashley Christensen," 3 July 2018 In Brazil, streets were largely empty as millions took off work and schools were shuttered so people could watch the team play on televisions in bars, squares and beaches. Beatrice Christofaro, The Seattle Times, "Joy, pain in Latin American giants after Brazil beats Mexico," 2 July 2018 Packing Mexico City’s central square and surrounding streets, thousands of supporters of the leftist president-elect Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador celebrated his landslide victory into the early hours of Monday. Time, "'I Am Here to Salute My President': Mexicans Celebrate Lopez Obrador's Left-Wing Landslide," 2 July 2018 All across the country, groups came together in city parks and downtown squares, and photos quickly started ricocheting around social media. Gillian Flaccus And Amy Taxin, chicagotribune.com, "Thousands march in cities large and small over immigration policy, family separations," 30 June 2018 Cutting a one-foot square and dulling the edges will create a similar fire guard. Joe Jackson, Outside Online, "8 Tips for (Responsibly) Camping in Fire Season," 22 June 2018 There is a prominent square in this central Russian municipality dedicated to the revolutionary writer Maxim Gorky, for whom the city was once named. Kevin Baxter, latimes.com, "World Cup quarterfinals a class conflict between soccer's rulers and its climbers," 5 July 2018 In Praca Maua square in Rio de Janeiro, thousands watched the game on a giant screen akin to a drive-in movie theater. Beatrice Christofaro, The Seattle Times, "Joy, pain in Latin American giants after Brazil beats Mexico," 2 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Computer analysis then provided a tree-canopy data point for every square meter in the city. Gabriel Popkin, Washington Post, "D.C. says its tree canopy is growing. Federal researchers disagree.," 10 June 2018 Most of the time, fog harvesters collect about three liters a day per square meter of mesh. Angela Chen, The Verge, "Scientists are harvesting water by building fog harps and zapping the air," 8 June 2018 In the lab, the system operates at 60 watts per square meter of mesh. Matt Simon, WIRED, "Wanna Pull Water Out of Air? Grab Some Ions or a Weird Sponge," 8 June 2018 Nine years _**Burj Al Arab's engineering director explains how gold is used across more than 2,000 square meters of the hotel. Joey Guerra, Houston Chronicle, "Bar Star: Delphia Lewis at Dreams Bar & Lounge," 6 June 2018 Rents for modern industrial space in Poznan, Poland, are about €3.50 euros ($4.09) a square meter compared with €5 a square meter in Berlin, 170 miles to the west, according to JLL data. Isobel Lee, WSJ, "Amazon, Auto Companies Stoke Logistics Boom in Eastern Europe," 5 June 2018 That’s like the ocean powered two 100 watt incandescent lightbulbs for every square meter of the Gulf of Mexico… for a month. Scott K. Johnson, Ars Technica, "Hurricane Harvey was fueled by record heat in the Gulf of Mexico," 10 May 2018 Flooding has flushed 43 billion plastic pieces out to sea The Mersey River Basin near Manchester, U.K., is the most plastic polluted watershed in the world, with more than half a million plastic particles per square meter of riverbed. Katie Langin, Science | AAAS, "Top stories: Honoring Stephen Hawking, excavating eruptions, and solving an ancient skull mystery," 16 Mar. 2018 For the past five years, watch repairman Lionel Lima Verdecía has rented a square meter of space in this township on the eastern outskirts of Havana from the Cuban state for 360 Cuban pesos a month. Mimi Whitefield, miamiherald, "Voices from Cuba: Cubans contemplate a non-Castro president and a new generation of leaders | Miami Herald," 1 Mar. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

It’s hard to square Americans’ belief in their society’s greatness with the life expectancy of its newborn girls and boys. New York Times, "The Profound Social Cost of American Exceptionalism," 29 May 2018 But national trends reported on in national publications can also fail to square with local trends that might be reported on in local publications. Todd Vanderwerff, Vox, "The rise of the American news desert," 9 May 2018 Because the fact is, even the most enlightened progressives have difficulty squaring theory and real life, and most #MeToo stories don’t come prepackaged with outsize villains. Anna Silman, The Cut, "What Can We Learn From Transparent’s #MeToo Mess?," 8 May 2018 On both plays, James took the pass at the top of the key before squaring up and launching as the clock was set to expire. Chris Fedor, cleveland.com, "LeBron James' game-winning shot brings back fond memories from 2009 for Larry Nance Jr.," 26 Apr. 2018 The two entities have had trouble squaring differences over how the new facility should look and operate, to the point that the city plans to continue using the old magistrate’s office rather than move. Jasper Scherer, San Antonio Express-News, "Tour of new intake center renews rift between officials," 11 July 2018 The conundrum is how to square the customer-is-king ethos with complaints, especially from women in client-facing jobs. Julie Steinberg, WSJ, "Difficult Conversation: When the Harasser Is a Client," 6 July 2018 That issue of the Times provides a veritable snapshot of how Americans squared the narrative of celebrating independence with the tumult happening in the nation. Marissa Vonesh, Smithsonian, "How the Fourth of July Was Celebrated (and Protested) in 1968," 3 July 2018 Just trying to square it up instead of trying to hit doubles or home runs. Phil Anastasia, Philly.com, "Gloucester Catholic's Evan Giordano is an accidental slugger," 9 May 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb

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 The finals will see DeNucci square off against sophomore Gabriella Dellacono of Stonington. Jared Silberkleit, courant.com, "Glastonbury's DeNucci Advances To Girls Tennis State Open Finals," 6 June 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

6 Oct 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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