a square meal

square meal

A wholesome, filling, and nutritious meal. What I really need is a hot shower, a square meal, and a full night's sleep. There's a lot of debate at the moment about whether three square meals is better than a lot of smaller meals throughout the day.
See also: meal, square
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2022 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

a square meal

A square meal is a large, healthy meal that makes you feel you have eaten enough. The troops were tired and hadn't had a square meal for five days. Do you survive on yogurt at lunchtime while your partner wants a square meal? Note: On sailing ships in the past, sailors ate off square wooden plates.
See also: meal, square
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012

a square ˈmeal

a large and satisfying meal: The children get three square meals a day.
See also: meal, square
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

square meal, a

A substantial and nourishing repast. A mid-nineteenth-century Americanism, the term appears in humorist Stephen Leacock’s Literary Lapses (1910): “Any two meals at a boarding-house are together less than two square meals.”
See also: square
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
See also:
References in classic literature ?
"That," announced the Shaggy Man, "is a square meal, in condensed form.
"Think how tired your jaws would get chewing a square meal like this, if it were not condensed to the size of a small tablet--which you can swallow in a jiffy."
Chamberlain, take these people over to my brother, the Grand Duke's, and give them a square meal. Adieu!
Strickland used to come here now and then to have a square meal or to play chess with one of the boys.
I gave him half a dollar and a square meal. You oughta seen him wolf it down.