Definition of square meal in English:

square meal


  • A substantial, satisfying, and balanced meal.

    ‘three square meals a day’
    • ‘Accommodation on board is basic, but you will be fed three square meals a day.’
    • ‘A study published in BMJ shows that eating small frequent meals is better for cholesterol levels than the three square meals mom always encouraged us to eat.’
    • ‘She knew I'd at least have a roof over my head and three square meals a day.’
    • ‘The fact that you and me are ‘luckier than most’ is especially hard to ignore in a country where every citizen can't take two square meals a day for granted.’
    • ‘Each weekday, the staff collects up to 200 children from around the city and takes them to the center where they receive a good basic education and a square meal, possibly their only meal of the day.’
    • ‘As a nation our diet has changed from three square meals a day to 7-20 snacks and this has led to an increase in the number of times the teeth come under acid attack and an increase in decay.’
    • ‘Daily physical fitness is just as crucial to good health as getting three square meals and eight hours of shut-eye.’
    • ‘Even basic initiatives like providing a square meal to schoolchildren from disadvantaged backgrounds have been found to produce enormous results in school attendance.’
    • ‘Undoubtedly, most of us were raised to believe that three square meals a day are the cornerstone of a happy, healthy life.’
    • ‘When I could eventually get my car out, I would head to the folks' house for Sunday dinner - my only square meal of the week.’
    • ‘Your blood sugar levels depend on what and when you eat, not on ‘three square meals a day’.’
    • ‘I mean she's getting, like, three square meals a day in prison.’
    • ‘The government allowances barely cover the cost of three square meals per day and very little is left over for clothing, hence the need for the private sector to become involved.’
    • ‘Now aged 84, a grandfather and great grandfather, he recalls: ‘We hadn't had a square meal in days.’
    • ‘For Christmas this year, I've got the in-laws who do like three square meals a day.’
    • ‘In the past couple of months I haven't had any dinner (or any square meals most Saturdays or Sundays) because I've been too lazy to cook.’
    • ‘I'm lucky enough to be with soldiers who often complain amongst themselves, but all they expect are good leadership and three square meals a day.’
    • ‘Living in her village, she earns more than Rs.750 per month and is able to provide two square meals a day to her family.’
    • ‘I never made much money, but I got three square meals in the digs.’
    • ‘He was often better off behind bars, he says, since it meant he got three square meals a day and a clean bed to sleep on.’


Said to derive from nautical use, with reference to the square platters on which meals were served on board ship.