poles apart


In complete opposition, as in The two brothers were poles apart in nearly all their views. This expression alludes to the two extremities of the earth's axis, the North and South poles. [Early 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.