Definition of at cross purposes in English:

at cross purposes

phrase

  • Misunderstanding or having different aims from one another.

    ‘we had been talking at cross purposes’
    • ‘Well, i don't think this's going anywhere, but it's a shame, as I still get the impression we're talking at cross purposes.’
    • ‘The script is a series of vignettes, short dialogues in which people often talk at cross purposes to each other, sometimes to comic effect, sometimes not.’
    • ‘In the past such people were disorganized and often at cross purposes, in both political parties and no political party.’
    • ‘Well, it looks like the sheriff and the DA are at cross purposes with one another.’
    • ‘I suspect the opposing sides may be at cross purposes at times, and that a solid working definition could clarify the debate.’
    • ‘I think we're talking at cross purposes here pal, that's the one I bought a few weeks ago, hence the fifteen quid well spent.’
    • ‘At the same time, it needs to ensure that other policies - such as transport policy - are pulling in the same direction rather than working at cross purposes.’
    • ‘And those two goals are at cross purposes with each other.’
    • ‘All of these ‘villains’ act independently at times, and often at cross purposes.’
    • ‘He was genuinely concerned that the Spurs affair might re-open the wounds that were patched up last season when he and the player were at cross purposes for a time.’
    conflicting, in conflict, contrasting, incompatible, irreconcilable, antithetical, contradictory, clashing, contrary, different, differing, divergent, dissimilar, disagreeing, in disagreement, at odds, at cross purposes, at loggerheads, opposed, opposing, opposite, in opposition, poles apart, polar, at outs
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