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

Hypernyms: ↑situation, ↑state of affairs

* * *

: the initial stage or starting point of a process

had to start all over again, from square one — H.C.McDonald

* * *

a starting point; initial stage or step: If this plan fails, we'll have to go back to square one.
[1955-60; alluding to board games in which a player is penalized by being forced to return to the starting point]

* * *

noun [noncount]
: the beginning stage or starting point

His idea didn't work, so he had to go back to square one. [=he had to start over]

They lost everything and found themselves back at square one.

Useful english dictionary. 2012.

Look at other dictionaries:

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  • square one — noun Etymology: from the use of numbered squares in some board games Date: 1960 the initial stage or starting point < the failure set us back to square one > …   New Collegiate Dictionary

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  • Square One (game show) — Square One was a quiz programme that was produced by Granada Television and aired on the ITV network from 1980 until 1984, the original host was Nick Turnbull who hosted the first series then comedian Joe Brown became the host until it ended in… …   Wikipedia

  • Square One (puzzle) — This article is about the puzzle. For the popular phrase, see Back to square one. The Square One, also known as Back to Square One and Cube 21, is a puzzle similar to the Rubik s Cube. Its distinguishing feature among the numerous Rubik s Cube… …   Wikipedia

  • Square One Television — Infobox television show name = Square One caption = The Square One TV Logo format = Educational runtime = 30 minutes creator= starring = Reg E. Cathey Beverly Mickins Arthur Howard Larry Cedar Luisa Leschin Cynthia Darlow Cristobal Franco Beverly …   Wikipedia

  • Square One Shopping Centre — infobox shopping mall shopping mall name = Square One Shopping Centre image width = 115 caption = location = Mississauga, Ontario, Canada opening date = 1973 developer= OMERS/Oxford Properties Group manager= OMERS/Oxford Properties Group owner=… …   Wikipedia

  • Square One Mall — This article is about the mall in Saugus, Massachusetts. For the mall located in Mississauga, Ontario, Canada, please see Square One Shopping Centre. infobox shopping mall shopping mall name = Square One Mall caption = location =Saugus,… …   Wikipedia

  • Square One (Tom Petty song) — Song infobox Name = Square One Caption = Type = Artist = Tom Petty alt Artist = Album = Highway Companion Published = Released = 2006 07 25 track no = 2 Recorded = Bungalow Palace and Shoreline Recorders, Los Angeles 2005 Genre = Rock Length =… …   Wikipedia

  • To square one's shoulders — 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… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Back to square one — is a phrase that means to go back to the beginning.According to the Oxford English Dictionary , the phrase most likely originated from children s games such as hopscotch and snakes and ladders.cite web | url=http://www.oed.com/bbcwords/square new …   Wikipedia

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