square one

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Related to square one: Back to square one

square one

n. Informal
The starting point.

[Alluding to board games with numbered squares in which a penalized player may have to return to the starting point.]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

square′ one′

the starting point; initial stage or step.
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.square one - the situation in which you begin an endeavor and to which you return if your efforts fail; "the police are now back at square one after having arrested and released 27 men"; "she has tried to diet but always ends up back at square one"
situation, state of affairs - the general state of things; the combination of circumstances at a given time; "the present international situation is dangerous"; "wondered how such a state of affairs had come about"; "eternal truths will be neither true nor eternal unless they have fresh meaning for every new social situation"- Franklin D.Roosevelt
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.
References in classic literature ?
The first stall was a large square one, shut in behind with a wooden gate; the others were common stalls, good stalls, but not nearly so large; it had a low rack for hay and a low manger for corn; it was called a loose box, because the horse that was put into it was not tied up, but left loose, to do as he liked.
The street lamps were already lit; and through the mist in the square one could see little figures hurrying across the road and along the pavement, on the farther side.
He had not only a dislike, but a sort of moral mistrust, of uncomfortable thoughts, and it was both uncomfortable and slightly contemptible to feel obliged to square one's self with a standard.
It isn't possible to square one's conduct to silly conclusions which nobody can foresee."
The room was the good-sized, square one, with the folding doors, the marble mantel-piece, and the gloomy, old-fashioned distinction peculiar to the Albany.
He had a conviction that not one in a hundred of them was intrinsically square; and as for the square ones, he prophesied that, playing in a crooked game, they were sure to lose and in the long run go broke.
HSBC UK also supported John and Mark by providing the funding required to take ownership of Site and Field Services and legal advice throughout was provided by Square One Law.
On a lengthy Instagram post, the former actress opened up about the responsibilities in taking care of baby Manu, saying it brought them "back to square one."
The Square One cuvette holder has three collimating lenses with fiber optic connectors, is designed with an integrated cover to reduce ambient light, and provides a snug, reliable fit for cuvettes and filters to ensure best results.
Andaya, meanwhile, lamented that after three Senate-House meetings on the spending bill, they're still at 'square one.'
"RMT and Square One Law kept us fully informed as the sale process progressed, smoothed over any problems that arose and found solutions whenever they were needed - their professionalism and expert guidance has been absolutely invaluable."
Dejan Mirkovic, founder & CEO of Goose Insurance Services, and co-founder and director of Square One Insurance Services, said, 'We know that if travel insurance is more accessible and affordable, Canadians will opt in and avoid thousands of dollars in medical bills during a travel emergency.