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’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘And those two goals are at cross purposes with each other.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘In the past such people were disorganized and often at cross purposes, in both political parties and no political party.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘All of these ‘villains’ act independently at times, and often at cross purposes.’
    • ‘I suspect the opposing sides may be at cross purposes at times, and that a solid working definition could clarify the debate.’
    • ‘Well, it looks like the sheriff and the DA are at cross purposes with one another.’
    • ‘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.’
    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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