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out to lunch

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Not in touch with the real world, crazy; also, inattentive. For example, If he believes that story, he's really out to lunch, or Anne hasn't heard a word you said—she's out to lunch. This expression transfers a temporary physical absence for the purpose of eating to a temporary or permanent mental absence. [Slang; mid-1900s]

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The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.

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