Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “cross purposes”

cross purposes

adverb uk   us  
at cross purposes If two or more people are at cross purposes, they do not understand each other because they are talking about different subjects without realizing this: I think we've been talking at cross purposes - I meant next year, not this year.
(Definition of cross purposes from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
What is the pronunciation of cross purposes?
Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

Definitions of “cross purposes” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day

work out

to exercise in order to improve the strength or appearance of your body

Word of the Day

Byronic, Orwellian and Darwinian: adjectives from names.

by Liz Walter,
April 15, 2015
Becoming an adjective is a strange kind of memorial, but it is often a sign of a person having had real influence on the world. Science is full of examples, from Hippocrates, the Greek medic born around 460 BC, who gave his name to the Hippocratic Oath still used by doctors today,

Read More 

bio-inspiration noun

April 13, 2015
the adoption of patterns and structures found in nature for the purposes of engineering, manufacturing, science, etc. The MIT researchers actually aren’t the only robotics team to turn to cheetahs for bio-inspiration.

Read More