square

Definitions

General English

  • adjective shaped like a square, with four equal sides and four right-angled corners
  • noun a shape with four equal sides and four right-angled corners
  • noun an open space in a town, with big buildings all round
  • noun a number that is the result of multiplying another number by itself
  • abbreviationsq.

General Science

  • adjective referring to a unit of measurement of area representing the length of each side of a square
  • noun the product of multiplying a number by itself

Banking

  • verb to balance your position by selling futures to balance purchases

Commerce

  • adjective settled, not owing anything
  • noun a way of measuring area, by multiplying the length by the width

Construction

  • A quantity of shingles, shakes, or other roofing or siding materials sufficient to cover 100 square feet when applied in a standard manner; the basic sales units of shingles and shakes.

Cricket

  • adjective close to or along an imaginary line extending outwards on either side of the batsman’s wicket
    Citation ‘For Lillee, Hughes took Dyson from the slips and put him at squarish third man’ (Brearley 1982)
    Citation ‘Woolmer … was content to wait for the ball which could be punched square of the wicket, especially on the offside’ (Norman Harris, Sunday Times 10 July 1983)
    See fielding positions
  • noun the imaginary line extending outwards from the batsman’s wicket
    Citation ‘The ploy worked nicely, Hughes timing his hook perfectly so that it carried all the way to Emburey fielding a few yards in from the edge just behind square’ (Brearley 1982)
  • noun the closely-mown area in the middle of a cricket ground, on which all the pitches used for playing matches are laid out
    Citation ‘The Oval square is one of the largest in the country. There are 27 pitches altogether, 20 of them for first-class matches’ (Harry Brind, WCM December 1983)
    Citation ‘Having knuckled down to reach 48 off 151 deliveries, he was put in a cage for the next 21, struggling to get the ball off the square’ (Siddhartha Vaidyanathan, Cricinfo Magazine July 2006)

Electronics

  • A quadrilateral with four right angles and four equal sides. A rhombus is a quadrilateral with four equal sides, but having no right angles.

Military

  • noun a flat area where drill is carried out

Slang

  • adjective (a person who is) conventional, conservative or unfashionable. Since the 17th century square has been used to mean honest, reputable or straightforward. The modern sense of the word dates from the 1930s jive talk of black jazz musicians in Harlem, New york. (Cab Calloway’s 1938 lexicon defines a square as an ‘unhip person’.).

Sports

  • verb to level the scores in a ball game

Travel

  • noun an open area in a town, surrounded by buildings

Origin & History of “square”

Etymologically a square is a ‘four’-sided figure. The word comes via Old French esquare or esqire (squire was the middle English form of square) from vulgar Latin *exquadra, a derivative of *exquadrāre ‘square’. this was a compound verb formed from the intensive prefix ex- and Latin quadrāre ‘square’, a derivative of the Latin stem quat-, quad- ‘four’, from which English gets quadrant, quarantine, quarter, etc, as well as cadre, and, via Italian, squad and squadron. The use of the adjective square for ‘stuffy, old-fashioned’ originated in jazz circles in the USA in the 1940s.
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