What does the idiom "fair and square" mean?

fair and square is an idiom used by many writers. When idioms are used in the right place, they open the doors of effective communication and increase your descriptive power. In this way, you will be better understood. The meaning of the expression fair and square is also remarkable in this respect.

Meaning of "fair and square"


The idiom "fair and square" is used to describe something that is not only done properly and according to the rules, but is also fair to all parties involved. It is used to describe when something is done, not only in a lawful manner, but also in an ethical manner. It is usually used to indicate that the situation has been handled appropriately and with honesty and integrity.


The idiom "fair and square" has its origins in the game of chess, which dates back to the 6th century in India. In chess, this phrase is used to indicate a particularly advantageous position on the board where a player's pieces are well-balanced and organized, allowing them to execute their strategy effectively.

Over time the phrase "fair and square" has evolved and come to be used figuratively to describe any situation in which all parties involved have been treated fairly and with integrity.


The idiom "fair and square" is typically used when discussing a particular situation that has been handled in a just and equitable manner. It is often used to indicate that all parties involved have been treated with respect and fairness, and that all expected standards or rules have been upheld.

The phrase is often used to draw attention to the fact that a situation has been handled in a particularly ethical manner, or that a particular individual or group has demonstrated a high level of integrity and propriety.

When used to describe an individual, it is often used to refer to someone who is honest and has a strong moral character. It can also be used to refer to an organization or company that is trustworthy and reliable.


  • "We handled the dispute fairly and square and both parties were satisfied with the outcome."
  • "We always try to do business fair and square, and make sure all parties are treated fairly and with respect."
  • "I've always known him to be a fair and square person who is trustworthy and reliable."
  • "This company is known for its fair and square business practices and dedication to ethical standards."

The meanings of the words in the "fair and square" idiom

Beyond the Literal: Figurative Language in Idioms

Idioms often use figurative language to convey a message that is not meant to be taken literally. For instance, the idiom "bite the bullet" means to endure a painful or difficult situation without complaint, while "hold your horses" means to be patient and wait. Other idioms, like "kick the bucket" or "pop your clogs," use euphemisms to talk about death.


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