square off

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square off (third-person singular simple present squares off, present participle squaring off, simple past and past participle squared off)

  1. (Canada, US) To get ready for a confrontation (debate, argument, fight).
    Synonym: square up
    Antonym: stand down
    • 1984, Daniel Petrie Jr., Beverly Hills Cop, spoken by Axel Foley (Eddie Murphy), Paramount Pictures:
      Hey, man, don't square off on me with some bullshit.
    • 2019 October 18, Thomas Meaney, “When James Baldwin Squared Off Against William F. Buckley Jr.”, in New York Times[1]:
      When James Baldwin Squared Off Against William F. Buckley Jr. [title]
    • 2023 September 7, “US, China square off on the South China Sea as Indonesia urges leaders to maintain peace”, in CNA[2]:
  2. (industrial design) To increase the boxiness of (a design).
    Antonym: round off
    After the aeronautically inspired curvaceous designs of the 1930s and 1940s, many American automotive designs of the 1950s through 1970s were somewhat more squared off.

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