at cross purposes
{adv. phr.} With opposing meanings or aims; with opposing effect or result; with aims which hinder or get in each other's way. * /Tom's parents acted at cross purposes in advising him; his father wanted him to become a doctor; but his mother wanted him to become a minister./

Dictionary of American idioms. 2013.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • at cross-purposes — in a way that causes confusion or failure because people are working or talking with different goals or purposes We ll never succeed together if we continue to work at cross purposes (with each other). It became clear that they were talking at c …   Useful english dictionary

  • at cross purposes — Having a contrary understanding of the situation • • • Main Entry: ↑cross * * * misunderstanding or having different aims from one another we had been talking at cross purposes …   Useful english dictionary

  • at cross purposes — When people are at cross purposes, they misunderstand each other or have different or opposing objectives …   The small dictionary of idiomes

  • at cross purposes — ► at cross purposes misunderstanding or having different aims from one another. Main Entry: ↑cross …   English terms dictionary

  • at cross purposes — index contra, contrary, discordant Burton s Legal Thesaurus. William C. Burton. 2006 …   Law dictionary

  • at cross-purposes — index antipathetic (oppositional), dissenting Burton s Legal Thesaurus. William C. Burton. 2006 …   Law dictionary

  • at cross purposes — 1) if two people are at cross purposes, they think that they are talking about the same thing when in fact they are not Hold on, I think we may be talking at cross purposes. 2) if two people, plans, or actions are at cross purposes, they are… …   English dictionary

  • at cross purposes — Synonyms and related words: adversative, adverse, adverse to, adversive, against, against the grain, against the tide, against the wind, antagonistic, anti, antipathetic, antithetic, antonymous, at cross purposes with, at daggers, at daggers… …   Moby Thesaurus

  • at cross purposes —    If two people are at cross purposes, there is a misunderstanding as to what each one is talking about.     Look, we seem to be at cross purposes. You re talking about sailing boats, but I m talking about selling boats …   English Idioms & idiomatic expressions

  • at cross purposes — 1. with different intentions. The two groups of advisors seemed to be working at cross purposes during this crisis. 2. in ways that are opposed to each other. The relief effort was characterized by a tendency to work at cross purposes instead of… …   New idioms dictionary

  • at cross-purposes — if two people are at cross purposes, they do not understand each other because they are trying to do or say different things but they do not know this. I think we re talking at cross purposes here. You mean the old building, but I was talking… …   New idioms dictionary

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