# Plaza vs. Square: What's the Difference?

Edited by Harlon Moss || By Janet White || Updated on October 3, 2023

**Plaza is an open public space, often with commercial buildings, while Square is an open area in a city or town where multiple streets meet, typically used for gatherings.**

## Key Differences

Both Plaza and Square are open public spaces that have been integral in urban design. Plaza, originating from the Spanish word for 'place', often emphasizes a commercial or business-oriented space. This setting may contain shopping centers, restaurants, or entertainment venues. On the other hand, Square has deep roots in town planning across various cultures and tends to be a communal gathering spot.

Plaza and Square both serve as social hubs, but their primary functions may differ. While the primary allure of a Plaza may be its commercial establishments and business areas, a Square is more traditionally a place for community gatherings, events, and sometimes even political demonstrations.

In architecture and urban design, the aesthetics of a Plaza might lean more towards modernity and luxury, reflecting its commercial intent. In contrast, a Square may have historical monuments, statues, or fountains, encapsulating the cultural or historical essence of a city or town.

Both Plaza and Square play pivotal roles in directing pedestrian movement in urban areas. While Plazas often become focal points for shopping and entertainment, Squares offer relaxation spots and connect various streets, serving as significant junctions in a city's layout.

## Comparison Chart

### Origin

Derived from Spanish for 'place'.

Universal term used across cultures.

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### Primary Function

Commercial and business-oriented.

Communal gathering and intersections.

### Typical Features

Modern buildings, shopping centers.

Historical monuments, statues, fountains.

### Usage in Urban Design

Focal points for shopping and entertainment.

Connects streets; significant city junctions.

### Cultural Importance

More modern and commercial.

Often encapsulates historical essence.

## Plaza and Square Definitions

#### Plaza

A shopping complex or commercial center.

The new plaza has some of the best restaurants in town.

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#### Square

A rectangle with all four sides of equal length.

Draw a square with each side measuring 5 inches.

#### Plaza

An open area used for gathering or recreation.

Families gathered in the plaza for the summer concert.

#### Square

Straightforward or direct.

He's a square shooter; you can trust him.

#### Plaza

A designated pedestrian zone in urban areas.

The city transformed the street into a pedestrian plaza.

#### Square

To multiply a number by itself.

Square 5, and you get 25.

#### Plaza

A public square or similar open area in a town or city.

#### Square

A polygon having four equal sides and four equal angles.

#### Plaza

A widened roadway forming the approach to tollbooths on a highway.

#### Square

Something having an equal-sided rectangular form

A square of cloth.

#### Plaza

A parking or service area next to a highway.

#### Square

A T-shaped or L-shaped instrument for drawing or testing right angles.

#### Plaza

A shopping center.

#### Square

(Mathematics) The product obtained when a number or quantity is multiplied by itself

49 is the square of 7.

#### Plaza

A town's public square.

#### Square

(Games) Any of the quadrilateral spaces on a board, as in chess.

#### Plaza

An open area used for gathering in a city, often having small trees and sitting benches.

#### Square

Abbr. Sq. An open, usually four-sided area at the intersection of two or more streets, often planted with grass and trees for use as a park.

#### Plaza

(North America) A strip mall.

#### Square

A rectangular space enclosed by streets and occupied by buildings; a block.

#### Plaza

A shopping mall.

#### Square

The flower bud of a cotton plant, with three bracts surrounding the unopened flower in a pyramidal structure.

#### Plaza

A public square in a city or town.

#### Square

(Slang) A person who is regarded as dull, rigidly conventional, and out of touch with current trends.

#### Plaza

A public square with room for pedestrians;

They met at Elm Plaza

Grosvenor Place

#### Square

Having four equal sides and four right angles.

#### Plaza

Mercantile establishment consisting of a carefully landscaped complex of shops representing leading merchandisers; usually includes restaurants and a convenient parking area; a modern version of the traditional marketplace;

A good plaza should have a movie house

They spent their weekends at the local malls

#### Square

Forming a right angle.

#### Plaza

A forecourt of a building or complex.

The hotel's plaza was adorned with beautiful fountains.

#### Square

In alignment or flush

Put the paper square with the edge of the desk.

#### Square

Abbr. sq. Expressed in units measuring area

Square feet.

#### Square

Having a specified length in each of two equal dimensions

A room that is 12 feet square.

#### Square

Having a base that is a square

A square pyramid.

#### Square

(Nautical) Set at right angles to the mast and keel. Used of the yards of a square-rigged ship.

#### Square

Approximately rectangular and equilateral in cross section

A square house.

#### Square

Characterized by blocklike solidity or sturdiness.

#### Square

Honest; direct

A square answer.

#### Square

Just; equitable

A square deal.

#### Square

Having all accounts settled; even

I paid what I owed you, so we're square.

#### Square

(Sports) Even; tied.

#### Square

(Slang) Rigidly conventional; dull.

#### Square

To cut to a square or rectangular shape. Often used with off.

#### Square

To test or adjust for conformity to a desired plane, straight line, or right angle.

#### Square

To mark into squares. Often used with off.

#### Square

To bring into conformity or agreement

She could not square the request with her principles.

#### Square

To bring (oneself) into a better position or relation

He tried to square himself with his parents.

#### Square

To set straight or at approximate right angles

Square one's cap.

#### Square

To bring into balance; settle

Square a debt.

#### Square

(Sports) To even the score of

To square a game.

#### Square

To raise (a number or quantity) to the second power.

#### Square

To find a square equal in area to (the area of a given figure).

#### Square

(Informal) To bribe or fix

A party in litigation that tried to square the judge.

#### Square

(Mathematics) To be at right angles.

#### Square

To agree or conform

A story that doesn't square with the facts.

#### Square

(Mathematics) At right angles.

#### Square

In a square shape.

#### Square

In a solid manner; firmly.

#### Square

Directly; straight

Ran square into each other.

#### Square

In an honest, straightforward manner.

#### Square

(geometry) A polygon with four sides of equal length and four right angles; an equilateral rectangle; a regular quadrilateral.

#### Square

Something characterized by a square, or nearly square, form.

#### Square

A cell in a grid.

You may not move a piece to a square already occupied by one of your own pieces.

#### Square

A square piece, part, or surface.

A square of glass

#### Square

The front of a woman's dress over the bosom, usually worked or embroidered.

#### Square

(North America) A dessert cut into rectangular pieces, or a piece of such a dessert.

#### Square

(printing) A certain number of lines, forming a portion of a column, nearly square; used chiefly in reckoning the prices of advertisements in newspapers.

Column inch

#### Square

An L- or T-shaped tool used to place objects or draw lines at right angles.

#### Square

A true measure, standard, or pattern.

#### Square

An open space or park, often in the center of a town, not necessarily square in shape, often containing trees, seating and other features pleasing to the eye.

#### Square

A street surrounding a public square or plaza.

#### Square

(mathematics) The product of a number or quantity multiplied by itself; the second power of a number, value, term or expression.

64 is the square of 8.

#### Square

(military formation) A body of troops drawn up in a square formation.

#### Square

A socially conventional or conservative person; a person who has little or no interest in the latest fads or trends: still sometimes used in modern terminology.

Why do you always wear a tie? Don't be such a square!

#### Square

(British) The symbol # on a telephone; hash.

Enter your account number followed by a square.

#### Square

(cricket) The central area of a cricket field, with one or more pitches of which only one is used at a time.

An ideal playing area is roughly circular in shape with a central area, the cricket square, measuring 27.44 metres by 27.44 metres and boundaries 45.75 metres from the sides of the square.

#### Square

(real estate) A unit of measurement of area, equal to a 10 foot by 10 foot square, i.e. 100 square feet or roughly 9.3 square metres. Used in real estate for the size of a house or its rooms, though progressively being replaced by square metres in metric countries such as Australia.

#### Square

(roofing) A unit used in measuring roof area equivalent to 100 square feet (9.29 m²) of roof area. The materials for roofing jobs are often billed by the square in the United States.

#### Square

(academia) A mortarboard.

#### Square

Senseid|en|square meal elliptically}} {{ellipsis of square meal

Even when times were tough, we got three squares a day.

#### Square

(archaic) Exact proportion; justness of workmanship and conduct; regularity; rule.

#### Square

The relation of harmony, or exact agreement; equality; level.

#### Square

(astrology) The position of planets distant ninety degrees from each other; a quadrate.

#### Square

(dated) The act of squaring, or quarrelling; a quarrel.

#### Square

(slang) Cigarette.

#### Square

(brewing) A vat used for fermentation.

#### Square

A well-defined core of a human body, a flat section from the fundament to the thoracic diaphragm.

#### Square

Shaped like a square the polygon.

#### Square

Forming a right angle (90°).

A square corner

#### Square

(of box-shaped objects such as buildings or metal frames) Forming right angles in all planes as intended; not rack or leaning.

The foundation has to be level and the framing has to be square.

#### Square

(nautical) Forming right angles with the mast or the keel, and parallel to the horizon; said of the yards of a square-rigged vessel when they are so braced.

#### Square

Used in the names of units of area formed by multiplying a unit of length by itself.

Square metre

Square mile

#### Square

Honest; straightforward; fair.

I'm just looking for a square deal on my car repair.

Square dealing

#### Square

Satisfied; comfortable with; not experiencing any conflict.

#### Square

Even; tied

To make or leave the accounts square

The sides were square at the end of the half.

#### Square

Socially conventional; boring.

#### Square

(cricket) In line with the batsman's popping crease.

#### Square

Solid, decent, substantial.

It may be prison, but at least I'm getting three square meals a day.

#### Square

Having a shape broad for the height, with angular rather than curving outlines.

A man of a square frame

#### Square

Directly.

#### Square

(transitive) To adjust so as to align with or place at a right angle to something else; in particular:

The casting was mounted on a milling machine so that its sides could be squared.

#### Square

(nautical) To place at a right angle to the mast or keel.

To square the yards

#### Square

(rowing) To rotate the oars so that they are perpendicular to the water.

#### Square

(ambitransitive) To resolve or reconcile; to suit or fit.

John can square this question up for us.

These results just don't square with what we expected.

#### Square

(transitive) To adjust or adapt so as to bring into harmony with something.

I cannot square the results of the experiment with my hypothesis.

To square our actions by the opinions of others

#### Square

Of a value, term, or expression, to multiply by itself; to raise to the second power.

#### Square

To draw, with a pair of compasses and a straightedge only, a square with the same area as.

Square the circle

#### Square

To tile (completely fill) with squares.

#### Square

(soccer) To make a short low pass sideways across the pitch

#### Square

(archaic) To take opposing sides; to quarrel.

#### Square

To accord or agree exactly; to be consistent with; to suit; to fit.

#### Square

(obsolete) To go to opposite sides; to take an attitude of offense or defense, or of defiance; to quarrel.

#### Square

To take a boxing attitude; often with up or off.

#### Square

To form with four sides and four right angles.

#### Square

To form with right angles and straight lines, or flat surfaces.

To square mason's work

#### Square

To compare with, or reduce to, any given measure or standard.

#### Square

(astrology) To hold a quartile position respecting.

#### Square

The corner, or angle, of a figure.

#### Square

Hence, anything which is square, or nearly so

He bolted his food down his capacious throat in squares of three inches.

#### Square

A pane of glass.

#### Square

An area of four sides, generally with houses on each side; sometimes, a solid block of houses; also, an open place or area for public use, as at the meeting or intersection of two or more streets.

The statue of Alexander VII. stands in the large square of the town.

#### Square

An instrument having at least one right angle and two or more straight edges, used to lay out or test square work. It is of several forms, as the T square, the carpenter's square, the try-square., etc.

#### Square

Hence, a pattern or rule.

#### Square

The product of a number or quantity multiplied by itself; thus, 64 is the square of 8, for 8

#### Square

Exact proportion; justness of workmanship and conduct; regularity; rule.

They of Galatia [were] much more out of square.

I have not kept my square.

#### Square

A body of troops formed in a square, esp. one formed to resist a charge of cavalry; a squadron.

#### Square

Fig.: The relation of harmony, or exact agreement; equality; level.

We live not on the square with such as these.

#### Square

The position of planets distant ninety degrees from each other; a quadrate.

#### Square

The act of squaring, or quarreling; a quarrel.

#### Square

The front of a woman's dress over the bosom, usually worked or embroidered.

#### Square

Having four equal sides and four right angles; as, a square figure.

#### Square

Forming a right angle; as, a square corner.

#### Square

Having a shape broad for the height, with rectilineal and angular rather than curving outlines; as, a man of a square frame.

#### Square

Exactly suitable or correspondent; true; just.

She's a most triumphant lady, if report be square to her.

#### Square

Rendering equal justice; exact; fair; honest; as, square dealing.

#### Square

Even; leaving no balance; as, to make or leave the accounts square.

#### Square

Leaving nothing; hearty; vigorous.

By Heaven, square eaters.More meat, I say.

#### Square

At right angles with the mast or the keel, and parallel to the horizon; - said of the yards of a square-rigged vessel when they are so braced.

#### Square

To form with four equal sides and four right angles.

#### Square

To form with right angles and straight lines, or flat surfaces; as, to square masons' work.

#### Square

To compare with, or reduce to, any given measure or standard.

#### Square

To adjust; to regulate; to mold; to shape; to fit; as, to square our actions by the opinions of others.

Square my trialTo my proportioned strength.

#### Square

To make even, so as to leave no remainder or difference; to balance; as, to square accounts.

#### Square

To multiply by itself; as, to square a number or a quantity.

#### Square

To hold a quartile position respecting.

The icy Goat and Crab that square the Scales.

#### Square

To place at right angles with the keel; as, to square the yards.

#### Square

To accord or agree exactly; to be consistent with; to conform or agree; to suit; to fit.

No works shall find acceptance . . .That square not truly with the Scripture plan.

#### Square

To go to opposite sides; to take an attitude of offense or defense, or of defiance; to quarrel.

Are you such foolsTo square for this?

#### Square

To take a boxing attitude; - often with up, sometimes with off.

#### Square

(geometry) a plane rectangle with four equal sides and four right angles; a four-sided regular polygon;

You can compute the area of a square if you know the length of its sides

#### Square

The product of two equal terms;

Nine is the second power of three

Gravity is inversely proportional to the square of the distance

#### Square

An open area at the meeting of two or more streets

#### Square

Something approximating the shape of a square

#### Square

Someone who doesn't understand what is going on

#### Square

A formal and conservative person with old-fashioned views

#### Square

Any artifact having a shape similar to a plane geometric figure with four equal sides and four right angles;

A checkerboard has 64 squares

#### Square

A hand tool consisting of two straight arms at right angles; used to construct or test right angles;

The carpenter who built this room must have lost his square

#### Square

Raise to the second power

#### Square

Make square;

Square the circle

Square the wood with a file

#### Square

Cause to match, as of ideas or acts

#### Square

Position so as to be square;

He squared his shoulders

#### Square

Be compatible with;

One idea squares with another

#### Square

Pay someone and settle a debt;

I squared with him

#### Square

Turn the paddle; in canoeing

#### Square

Turn the oar, while rowing

#### Square

Having four equal sides and four right angles or forming a right angle;

A square peg in a round hole

A square corner

#### Square

Leaving no balance;

My account with you is now all square

#### Square

Characterized by honesty and fairness;

A square deal

Wanted to do the square thing

#### Square

Without evasion or compromise;

A square contradiction

He is not being as straightforward as it appears

#### Square

Rigidly conventional or old-fashioned

#### Square

In a straight direct way;

Looked him squarely in the eye

Ran square into me

#### Square

With honesty and fairness;

Dealt squarely with his customers

Always treated me square

#### Square

In a square shape;

A squarely cut piece of paper

Folded the sheet of paper square

#### Square

Firmly and solidly;

Hit the ball squarely

The bat met the ball squarely

Planted his great bulk square before his enemy

#### Square

An open area where multiple streets intersect.

The town square was beautifully lit up for the holidays.

#### Square

A place for public gatherings or events.

Protestors assembled at the square to voice their concerns.

## FAQs

#### Are Plazas common in Spanish-speaking countries?

Yes, the concept of plazas is integral in Spanish and Latin American urban designs.

#### Can a Plaza be inside a mall?

Yes, some indoor shopping malls have areas referred to as plazas.

#### Is a Plaza always commercial?

Mostly, but not always. Some might be more recreational or ceremonial.

#### Is Plaza a Spanish word?

Yes, it originates from Spanish and means 'place'.

#### What is a Plaza?

A plaza is an open public space, often surrounded by commercial buildings.

#### How does a Square differ from a Plaza?

A square is a public open space in a city where streets intersect, while a plaza has a more commercial focus.

#### Are town Squares common in small towns?

Yes, they often serve as the heart of small towns.

#### Do Squares have historical significance?

Often, yes. Many squares feature monuments, statues, or landmarks.

#### Are all Squares four-sided?

In geometry, yes. In urban design, not necessarily; it denotes an open space, regardless of shape.

#### Can a Square be used for protests?

Yes, squares are often gathering spots for various public events, including protests.

#### How important are Squares in urban planning?

They're essential, serving as communal spaces and often influencing city traffic flow.

#### Can Squares be modern spaces?

While many are historical, there are also contemporary squares in newer cities.

#### Can a Square be a garden?

Yes, some squares are green spaces or gardens, especially in European cities.

#### Do Plazas attract tourists?

Yes, especially in cities with renowned plazas surrounded by attractions.

#### Can a Plaza be a park?

Some plazas incorporate green spaces and might resemble parks.

#### Can a Plaza be pedestrian-only?

Yes, many plazas are designed as pedestrian zones.

#### Do all cities have a Plaza?

Not necessarily, but many cities incorporate plazas into their design.

#### Are Plazas more prevalent in warmer climates?

They're common in many climates but might be especially prevalent in regions where outdoor gatherings are frequent.

#### What's the purpose of a city Square?

To offer communal space for gatherings, events, and as a junction for multiple streets.

#### Do all Squares have statues or monuments?

No, but many squares, especially historical ones, feature such landmarks.

About Author

Written by

Janet WhiteJanet White has been an esteemed writer and blogger for Difference Wiki. Holding a Master's degree in Science and Medical Journalism from the prestigious Boston University, she has consistently demonstrated her expertise and passion for her field. When she's not immersed in her work, Janet relishes her time exercising, delving into a good book, and cherishing moments with friends and family.

Edited by

Harlon MossHarlon is a seasoned quality moderator and accomplished content writer for Difference Wiki. An alumnus of the prestigious University of California, he earned his degree in Computer Science. Leveraging his academic background, Harlon brings a meticulous and informed perspective to his work, ensuring content accuracy and excellence.