To square the circle
Square Square, v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Squared} (skw[^a]rd); p. pr. & vb. n. {Squaring}.] [Cf. OF. escarrer, esquarrer. See {Square}, n.] 1. To form with four equal sides and four right angles. --Spenser. [1913 Webster]

2. To form with right angles and straight lines, or flat surfaces; as, to square masons' work. [1913 Webster]

3. To compare with, or reduce to, any given measure or standard. --Shak. [1913 Webster]

4. To adjust; to regulate; to mold; to shape; to fit; as, to square our actions by the opinions of others. [1913 Webster]

Square my trial To my proportioned strength. --Milton. [1913 Webster]

5. To make even, so as to leave no remainder or difference; to balance; as, to square accounts. [1913 Webster]

6. (Math.) To multiply by itself; as, to square a number or a quantity. [1913 Webster]

7. (Astrol.) To hold a quartile position respecting. [1913 Webster]

The icy Goat and Crab that square the Scales. --Creech. [1913 Webster]

8. (Naut.) To place at right angles with the keel; as, to square the yards. [1913 Webster]

{To square one's shoulders}, to raise the shoulders so as to give them a square appearance, -- a movement expressing contempt or dislike. --Sir W. Scott.

{To square the circle} (Math.), to determine the exact contents of a circle in square measure. The solution of this famous problem is now generally admitted to be impossible. [1913 Webster]


The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • To square the circle — Circle Cir cle (s[ e]r k l), n. [OE. cercle, F. cercle, fr. L. circulus (Whence also AS. circul), dim. of circus circle, akin to Gr. kri kos, ki rkos, circle, ring. Cf. {Circus}, {Circum }.] [1913 Webster] 1. A plane figure, bounded by a single… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • square the circle — ► to solve a very difficult situation or problem: »He will have to square the circle of how to sell at current prices while cutting the cost of production to make a profit. Main Entry: ↑square …   Financial and business terms

  • square the circle — to find a good solution to a problem when that seems impossible, especially because the people involved have very different needs or opinions about it. Few poor countries can afford to look after their works of art properly, but neglect is unwise …   New idioms dictionary

  • square the circle — british informal phrase to do something that is very difficult or impossible How does the prime minister square that circle? Thesaurus: to successfully deal with a problem or difficultysynonym Main entry: square * * * construct a square equal …   Useful english dictionary

  • square the circle — ► square the circle 1) construct a square equal in area to a given circle (a problem incapable of a purely geometrical solution). 2) do something considered to be impossible. Main Entry: ↑square …   English terms dictionary

  • square the circle — When someone is squaring the circle, they are trying to do something impossible …   The small dictionary of idiomes

  • square the circle — 1》 construct a square equal in area to a given circle (a problem incapable of a purely geometrical solution). 2》 do something considered to be impossible. → square …   English new terms dictionary

  • square the circle — make a circle into a square, try to do the impossible …   English contemporary dictionary

  • square the circle — British informal to do something that is very difficult or impossible How does the prime minister square that circle? …   English dictionary

  • square the circle — verb a) To construct a square with the same area as a given circle by using only a finite number of steps with compass and straightedge. b) To solve a famously difficult or impossible problem …   Wiktionary

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”