square the circle

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square the circle

To solve, or attempt to solve, an impossible problem or situation. I'm not sure what to tell you, but if you take that issue to the boss, I bet he'll be able to square the circle.
See also: circle, square

square the circle

Try to do the impossible, as in Getting that bill through the legislature is the same as trying to square the circle. This idiom alludes to the impossibility of turning a circle into a square. John Donne may have been the first to use it ( Sermons, 1624): "Go not thou about to square either circle (God or thyself)."
See also: circle, square

square the circle

COMMON If you try to square the circle, you try to solve a problem that seems to be impossible to solve. All have the same hope: that foreign markets and, especially, foreign investment will somehow provide enough jobs to square the circle.
See also: circle, square