Meaning of “cross purposes” in the English Dictionary

british dictionary

(Definition of “cross purposes” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"cross-purposes" in American English

See all translations

cross-purposesplural noun

us /ˈkrɔˈspɜr·pə·səz/
at cross-purposes

If two people or groups are at cross-purposes they do not understand each other because they have different intentions:

They're talking at cross-purposes without realizing it.

(Definition of “cross-purposes” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)