What word or phrase does your mother always say?


[skwair-lee] /ˈskwɛər li/
in a square shape, form, or manner.
directly; without evasion; in a straight or straightforward manner:
to face a problem squarely.
in an honest or open manner; straightforwardly; fairly.
firmly; solidly; unequivocally.
Origin of squarely
1550-60; square + -ly Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for squarely
  • The donkey stood squarely under this staggering load.
  • How lineages might change is squarely within the realm of speculation.
  • Two studies published this past spring pin the blame squarely on humans.
  • Of course it has scientific appeal: the biggest questions fall squarely into its lap.
  • Some of the automatically produced inventions infringe squarely on the exact claims of the previously patented inventions.
  • In fact, the organization is focused squarely on promoting fossil fuels.
  • Fortunately, much better solutions exist once the focus is put squarely on nurturing sustainable development.
  • No mater how much you place your fingers squarely in your ears it still happens.
  • And that bears squarely on the health and safety of the public.
  • Unless and until you produce such data, your pathogen idea remains squarely in fantasyland.
British Dictionary definitions for squarely


in a direct way; straight: he hit me squarely on the nose
in an honest, frank, and just manner
at right angles
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for squarely

1540s, of multiplication, from square + -ly (2). From 1560s as "in a straightforward manner;" meaning "firmly, solidly" is from 1860.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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