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cross-purpose

[kraws-pur-puh s, kros-]
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noun
  1. an opposing or contrary purpose.
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Idioms
  1. at cross-purposes, in a way that involves or produces mutual misunderstanding or frustration, usually unintentionally.
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Origin of cross-purpose

First recorded in 1660–70
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for cross-purpose

discord, dissent, disunity, argument, friction, wrangle, controversy, debate, fight, split, spat, tension, squabble, clash, antagonism, hostility, misunderstanding, opposition, animosity, difference

Examples from the Web for cross-purpose

Historical Examples of cross-purpose

  • If we find every fact of life at cross-purpose with Scripture, what then?

    The Call of the Town

    John Alexander Hammerton

  • It seems someway unlike God to make each person a something all of cross-purpose.

    I, Mary MacLane

    Mary MacLane

  • I am not prone on my green couch, frayed, frazzled, bowed-down in spirit from a day of frightful stress and cross-purpose.

    I, Mary MacLane

    Mary MacLane


British Dictionary definitions for cross-purpose

cross-purpose

noun
  1. a contrary aim or purpose
  2. at cross-purposes conflicting; opposed; disagreeing
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Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012