square meal, a

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. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

square meal, a

A substantial or complete meal, as in These airlines never feed you; I haven't had a square meal on one yet. [Mid-1800s]
See also: square
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. 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)

n. a good and nutritious meal. (Always with quantifier when square is used without meal.) I need three squares a day—at least. The old soak looks like he could use a square meal.
See also: meal, square
McGraw-Hill's Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions Copyright © 2006 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.

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
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