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To fight, argue, or begin a conflict or competition. The two fighters will be squaring off tomorrow at 9 PM. The two candidates squared off for the first time during the debate last night and things got heated very quickly. Oh, those two are always squaring off at meetings. It's nothing new.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
square something off
to make something square; to trim something until it is square. You will have to square this corner off a bit so it will match the part it will be attached to. Please square off this corner.
square off (for something)
to get ready for an argument or a fight. John was angry and appeared to be squaring off for a fight. When those two square off, everyone gets out of the way.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
Take a fighting stance, prepare to fight, as in As they squared off, the teacher came out and stopped them, or The ambassador said the two countries were squaring off. [First half of 1800s]
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.
1. To make something square or rectangular: The carpenter squared the plank off with a table saw. The designer has squared off the toe of the shoe.
2. To assume a fighting stance; prepare to fight: The two fighters squared off and exchanged blows.
3. To face someone or something in a competition or debate: The two candidates will square off in a debate. The team squared off against its longtime rival. The governor prepared to square off with legislators over the new tax bill.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Phrasal Verbs. Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
in. to prepare to fight; to prepare to argue or compete. They were squaring off, so I asked them if they’d like to step outside.
McGraw-Hill's Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions Copyright © 2006 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.