(redirected from squaring off)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Legal, Financial.


closed plane figure bounded by four straight line segments of equal length and meeting at right angles. The points of intersection of the lines, or sides, are called vertices. The diagonals of a square are the two lines joining opposite vertices; they are of equal length and are the perpendicular bisectors of one another. The perimeter of a square is the sum of the lengths of its sides, or P=4s, where s is the length of a side. The area enclosed by a square is A=s2. The square is one of the commonest geometric figures and has long had various symbolic meanings in religion and art.


A regular four-sided figure with equal sides and four equal right angles; may be subdivided along the diagonals or oblique lines connecting the corner angles and the lines that connect the center of each side. Also, an open area at the intersection of streets in an urban setting.


(religion, spiritualism, and occult)

A square is an aspect of 90° between two points—such as two planets—in an astrological chart. A square is a major aspect, regarded as challenging and inharmonious. It is the most difficult of all the hard aspects, though much depends on the nature of the planets involved. A square involving planets like Jupiter and Venus, for instance, will usually bring fewer hardships into a native’s life than squares involving planets like Saturn and Pluto. In a natal chart, the planets represent, among other things, various aspects of an individual’s psyche. For example, Mars represents the forceful, outgoing, aggressive aspect of self, whereas Saturn represents the security-seeking, self-disciplined aspect of self. Although everyone experiences some tension between these two principles, an individual with a Mars-Saturn square in her or his chart experiences this conflict in an exaggerated manner, often over-repressing outgoing, aggressive urges and at other times exploding with impulsive actions or words.

Many modern astrologers, in an effort to overcome the sometimes frightening delineations of traditional astrology, have tended to go to the opposite extreme. In the case at hand, the square is sometimes presented to clients as a source of “creative tension” or given some other such interpretation. Accurate though such delineations may be, clients ultimately are not served well by calling attention to the silver lining while ignoring the cloud. Squares—and almost everybody has a few—are the most challenging, destabilizing aspects in a natal chart. They demand attention and inner work if they are ever to manifest positively.


Hand, Robert. Horoscope Symbols. Rockport, MA: Para Research, 1981.
Sakoian, Frances, and Louis S. Acker. The Astrologer’s Handbook. New York: Harper & Row, 1989.



in urban design, a planned open area framed by buildings, structures, or greenery and forming part of a system of other urban areas.

The predecessors of the city square were the main courtyards of the palace and temple complexes of Crete, Egypt, Babylonia, and Assyria. Their rectangular, enclosed plan was transmitted to the Greek agoras and the Roman forums. The squares of European cities of the 12th to 14th centuries were similarly enclosed but almost always irregular in plan; the main square was the marketplace.

During the Renaissance, squares usually had a perimeter in the shape of a rectilinear geometrical figure such as a rectangle or trapezoid. Squares for public gatherings became very important; these were faced by the municipal government building and the loggia, where the patriciate held meetings. Baroque architecture introduced squares in the form of circles, polygons, and complex figures into urban planning.

In Russian medieval cities, the kremlin squares, marketplaces, and cathedral squares played an important social and urban-planning role. In the 18th century, open squares became widespread. Outstanding examples of squares for different purposes were created by architects of the classical era in Russia in the last third of the 18th and the first third of the 19th century.

In modern urban planning, squares are of two types: those for vehicular traffic and those for pedestrians. Squares designed for traffic serve as urban traffic junctions; those with heavy traffic are sometimes built in several tiers—at street level, underground, and overhead—so that traffic may be diverted to different levels. Squares for traffic often have specialized purposes: they may be located in front of railroad stations, in which case the flow of passengers arriving and departing must be regulated. When squares with large parking areas are located in front of large factories, stadiums, places of entertainment, and exhibition halls, the flow of persons arriving must be separated from the flow of persons leaving.

Squares designed primarily for pedestrians may also be specialized. Examples are main squares, used for public events and displays; theater squares; marketplaces; and memorial squares honoring important historical events and outstanding statesmen, scientists, and artists. Memorial squares, which often contain large-scale sculptures and paintings, are sometimes outstanding architectural ensembles that greatly influence the appearance of urban areas. Main squares or systems of main squares forming the nucleus of a city’s center are generally large and have impressive, large-scale structures such as government and municipal buildings. These squares are used for parades, holiday demonstrations, meetings, and public celebrations.

In modern urban planning, special parking areas are located near main public squares that have buildings used by large numbers of workers, spectators, and visitors. Squares of various types may have planted areas, usually parterres, in their center, along their perimeter, or in both locations. In park- and garden-like squares, the parterre is usually combined with topiary or with natural wooded areas of massed greenery surrounding the square.


Brikman, A. E. Ploshchad’ i monument kak problema khudozhestvennoi formy. Moscow, 1935.
Bunin, A. V. Istoriia gradostroitel’nogo iskusstva, vol. 1. Moscow, 1953.
Baranov, N. V. Kompozitsiia tsentra goroda. [Moscow, 1964.]
Osnovy sovetskogo gradostroitel’stva, vols. 2, 4. Moscow, 1967–69.


What does it mean when you dream about a square?

Squares suggest stability, which in a dream may reflect a felt state or indicate a need for more stability. Squares also signify strength and solidity (square jaw or square shoulders).


The square of a number r is the number r 2, that is, r times r.
The plane figure with four equal sides and four interior right angles.
Denotes a unit of area; if x is a unit of length, a square x is the area of a square whose sides have a length of 1 x ; for example, a square meter, or a meter squared, is the area of a square whose sides have a length of 1 meter. Also known as monomino. Abbreviated sq.


1. A measure of roofing materials; equals 100 sq ft (9.29 sq m).
2. Any piece of material sawn or cut to be rectangular with equal dimensions on all four sides.
3. A steel square for checking angles.


1. a plane geometric figure having four equal sides and four right angles
2. an open area in a town, sometimes including the surrounding buildings, which may form a square
3. Maths the product of two equal factors; the second power
4. an instrument having two strips of wood, metal, etc., set in the shape of a T or L, used for constructing or testing right angles
5. Cricket the closely-cut area in the middle of a ground on which wickets are prepared
6. Rowing the position of the blade of an oar perpendicular to the surface of the water just before and during a stroke
7. Astrology an aspect of about 90° between two planets, etc
8. having or forming one or more right angles or being at right angles to something
a. denoting a measure of area of any shape
b. denoting a square having a specified length on each side
10. Cricket at right angles to the wicket
11. Nautical (of the sails of a square-rigger) set at right angles to the keel
12. (of a horse's gait) sound, steady, or regular
13. Maths (of a matrix) having the same number of rows and columns


A query language, a precursor to SQL.

["Specifying Queries as Relational Expressions: The SQUARE Data Sublanguage", R.E. Boyce et al, CACM 18(11):621-628 (Nov 1975)].
References in periodicals archive ?
They're like the Lil' Rascals with access to the A-Bomb; getting into mischief, learning stuff and squaring off with their many rivals like Lil' Kim Jong Il and Lil' John Kerry.
IF THE COMPETITION for ``The Saddest Music in the World'' could encompass the ages, you might have Billie Holiday squaring off against Frank Sinatra (right after he lost Ava Gardner for the last time), Chet Baker battling Chris Isaak, and Air Supply knocking off pretenders like Christopher Cross and Phil Collins.
when gamers push things too hard they'll be squaring off against the city's most infamous burners, and these legends aren't interested in who crosses the finish line first.