Definition of strike (or hit) a false note in US English:

strike (or hit) a false note

phrase

  • Appear insincere or inappropriate.

    ‘she greeted him gushingly, and that struck a false note’
    • ‘Garner never strikes a false note, and she wins us over completely.’
    • ‘There was something in the way Kate and Owen interacted that struck a false note.’
    • ‘It is a tone that's played especially right in a film that doesn't strike a false note.’
    • ‘He did his best under difficult circumstances, but remained a tense, suspicious figure whose occasional attempts at cheery bonhomie always struck a false note with us.’
    • ‘She has not struck a false note or made a single misstep.’
    • ‘Working as a honed ensemble, the cast never strikes a false note.’
    • ‘While it takes a little while to find its stride (and strikes a false note during its city-based sequence), the film does eventually provide a rewarding and frequently enriching experience that can be enjoyed by children and adults alike.’
    • ‘But my basic impression was that Edwards didn't strike a false note for the entire 90 minutes.’
    • ‘It's passages like this, where he talks about his message, that strike a false note in the tone and the language used.’
    • ‘It is a skillful blend of comedy and drama that never wavers or strikes a false note.’