square meal, a

square meal

A wholesome, nutritious meal. The hot lunch program at school provides square meals for underprivileged children.
See also: meal, square

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

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

a square ˈmeal

a large and satisfying meal: The children get three square meals a day.
See also: meal, square

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

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