apples and oranges


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apples and oranges

Two unlike things or people. Oh, you can't compare those two companies, they're apples and oranges! My mom and my mother-in-law are just apples and oranges and should not be left alone in the same room for too long.
See also: and, apple, orange

apples and oranges

Fig. two entities that are not similar. (Used especially in reference to comparisons of unlike things.) You can't talk about Fred and Ted in the same breath! They're like apples and oranges. Talking about her current book and her previous bestseller is like comparing apples and oranges.
See also: and, apple, orange

apples and oranges

Unlike objects or persons, as in Assessing the problems of the neighborhood grocery by examining a giant supermarket is comparing apples and oranges . This metaphor for dissimilarity began as apples and oysters, which appeared in John Ray's proverb collection of 1670. It is nearly always accompanied by a warning that one cannot compare such different categories.
See also: and, apple, orange

apples and oranges

If you say that two things are apples and oranges, you mean that they are completely different and cannot be compared. We really can't compare the data any more, it's not the same — it's just apples and oranges. Note: You can also say that comparing two things is like comparing apples with oranges. To compare one with the other is to make the mistake we were all warned about in third grade, not to compare apples with oranges.
See also: and, apple, orange

apples and oranges

(of two people or things) irreconcilably or fundamentally different. North American
See also: and, apple, orange

ˌapples and ˈoranges

(American English) used to describe a situation in which two people or things are completely different from each other: He was no competition for me: it was like apples and oranges.
See also: and, apple, orange
References in classic literature ?
On the table in the middle of the room was a kind of a lovely crockery basket that bad apples and oranges and peaches and grapes piled up in it, which was much redder and yellower and prettier than real ones is, but they warn't real because you could see where pieces had got chipped off and showed the white chalk, or whatever it was, under- neath.
The compound in the jug being tasted, and considered perfect, apples and oranges were put upon the table, and a shovel-full of chestnuts on the fire.
Instead of a symbol to wrap up the narrative in a neat Freudian package, we find apples and oranges confirming--or warning us off?