at cross purposes


Also found in: Legal.

at cross purposes

with different intentions The two groups of advisors seemed to be working at cross purposes during this crisis.
See also: cross, purpose

at cross purposes

in ways that are opposed to each other The relief effort was characterized by a tendency to work at cross purposes instead of everyone working together.
See also: cross, purpose

at cross purposes

With aims or goals that conflict or interfere with one another, as in I'm afraid the two departments are working at cross purposes. This idiom, first recorded in 1688, may have begun as a 17th-century parlor game called "cross-purposes," in which a series of subjects (or questions) were divided from their explanations (or answers) and distributed around the room. Players then created absurdities by combining a subject taken from one person with an explanation taken from another.
See also: cross, purpose
References in periodicals archive ?
But I found that the hares were working at cross purposes to my forestry plan.
The Fed and Congress working at cross purposes is particularly problematic when short-term interest rates are pinned near zero, as they have been since late 2008.
We hope that the MNLF and the MILF's commitment, both representing the Bangsamoro peoples, should not be at cross purposes with each other," added Leonen.
They offer a variety of tools, exercises, and examples from several industries such as Walmart, Pfizer, and Amazon to help companies learn how to create a strategically coherent company in which key elements reinforce each other rather than work at cross purposes.
The new Coalition may appear to be at cross purposes in some respects but make no mistake, both parties are determined to rescue the country from the calamitous black hole left by the
And to the extent that doctors are justifiably fearful, to the extent that the law actually does work at cross purposes with ethics and medicine, what can we recommend to policymakers to change the law?
Mr de Baca said another issue was that several government agencies seemed to be working at cross purposes, including in Bahrain.
We have an effective partnership with Pakistan that is working to achieve our goals in the entire region and that we're not working at cross purposes, that issues of corruption are dealt with, that we are identifying not just a national government in Kabul, but provincial government actors that have legitimacy .
We may have been speaking at cross purposes," she apologised.
Our clerk of the course Katherine Self had phoned the BHA but it appears that we were at cross purposes.
It also would be possible to better coordinate the efforts of educational agencies and institutions that might otherwise work at cross purposes and to reduce needless duplication of effort.
Their efforts to keep young "Grifonino" safe, find out where he came from, and return him safely take them on a whirlwind of adventure and even danger, as they are at cross purposes with greedy paparazzi, eager scientists, and the lurking menace of Prince Eduardo.
Their actions are at cross purposes to their stated policy".
At Gettysburg, Lee seemed at cross purposes with his subordinates.
Mr Johnson said Hunter told police she had been at cross purposes with Lee in their conversations and that the "worst she wanted was Colin Love and Judith Love frightened.