Definition of out of order in English:

out of order


  • 1(of a device) not working properly or at all.

    ‘the elevator was out of order’
    • ‘My brother-in-law had a phone installed three weeks ago and it has been out of order longer than it has been usable.’
    • ‘BT engineers are working round the clock to restore services, but about 2,400 lines are still out of order.’
    • ‘Then when I got to the office I found that the lift was out of order and that I'd have to climb all the way to the 4th floor using the stairs.’
    • ‘Housing bosses have apologised to residents of a Bradford 14 storey tower block over a lift which has been out of order for seven months.’
    • ‘The idea of climbing five stories of stairs made his head spin, and the elevator was out of order.’
    • ‘They also claim residents dare not use the lift because it continually breaks down, and most of the intercoms linked to the building's entry system are out of order.’
    • ‘The bleedin ticket machine is out of order too.’
    • ‘The elevator is constantly out of order; nobody has ever tried to fix it.’
    • ‘BT told us our telephone would be out of order until July 8.’
    • ‘Mind you, my nearest proper cashpoint - at the station - has been out of order for six months.’
    not working, not in working order, not functioning, broken, broken-down, out of service, out of commission, acting up, unserviceable, faulty, defective, non-functional, inoperative, in disrepair
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  • 2Not in the correct sequence.

    ‘he recorded the seven pieces out of order’
    • ‘The only way I could be more intrigued with it would probably be if it had been released in bits and pieces, out of order, and left as clues all over the internet.’
    • ‘His books do read best chronologically as he always has running storylines, but I've read them out of order and it's no great problem.’
    • ‘It is like being in an art gallery; the reader can read the pieces in order, out of order, any way that excites.’
    • ‘This is an old man remembering his life: scenes appear out of order.’
    • ‘It was Fiona's first day at Nursery, so his weekday morning routine was out of order already, and I put much of his bad humour down to that fact.’
    • ‘At Midway in 1942, Navy pilots trained to attack in a precisely choreographed sequence ignored their instructions and attacked out of order.’
    • ‘It feels like the sequence is out of order with the rest of the movie.’
    • ‘At first I thought it might be a problem with sequencing so I tried playing the record out of order.’
  • 3Not according to the rules of a meeting, legislative assembly, etc.

    ‘he ruled the objection out of order’
    • ‘The word ‘duplicitous’ has been ruled out of order on a number of occasions in this House, and my view is that the expression the member used is so close to that as to be the same.’
    • ‘Despite being ruled out of order on several occasions Dr Cowley continued to address the point and was eventually dismissed amid uproar.’
    • ‘Someone attempted to ask a question and initially the Speaker in his wisdom ruled it out of order, but upon reflection he allowed it.’
    • ‘An earlier request by his supporters for an extraordinary general meeting was ruled out of order because it had not been submitted in accordance with party rules.’
    • ‘Even if that point were correct, I suggest that the question is out of order on another ground.’
    • ‘I think that remark should be ruled out of order.’
    • ‘I ruled subsequent interjections out of order.’
    • ‘The amendments in the name of Dr Nick Smith have been ruled out of order as they are inconsistent with the previous decision of the Committee.’
    • ‘The Republicans, ruling the amendment out of order, defeated it in a party-line vote of 222-200.’
    • ‘In the past, moves to protect the environment have been ruled out of order because of trade legislation.’
    1. 3.1British informal (of a person or their behaviour) unacceptable or wrong.
      ‘Chris was well out of order’
      • ‘Some of the things he was saying concerning the Make Poverty History Campaign were completely out of order.’
      • ‘There's going to be a little comeback this time, because enough of us feel that Senior Manager is bang out of order on several counts.’
      • ‘‘They were totally out of order in the way they spoke to everybody,’ he said.’
      • ‘His behaviour in front of the children was out of order.’
      • ‘A 15 per cent council tax rise is well out of order, especially if it includes spending £2.7 million on an art museum.’
      • ‘A Warminster man admitted his drunken behaviour had been out of order when he appeared before magistrates.’
      • ‘He walked close up to the manager and said: ‘You're out of order.’’
      • ‘Mind you, as an old man I'd say this was well out of order.’
      • ‘O'Connell was out of order and deserved the red card.’
      • ‘The referee stopped the fight early and he was out of order because I could have carried on.’
      unacceptable, unfair, unjust, unjustified, uncalled for, below the belt, out of turn, not done, unreasonable, unwarranted, unnecessary, wrong, beyond the pale, improper, irregular
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