at cross-purposes


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at cross purposes

In conflict with or in opposition to. You will never find success if you continue to work at cross purposes with your teammates.
See also: cross, purpose
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

at cross-purposes

with opposing viewpoints; with goals that interfere with each other. We are arguing at cross-purposes. We aren't even discussing the same thing. Bill and Tom are working at cross-purposes. They'll never get the job done right.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

at cross-purposes

Pursuing conflicting or contrary goals, usually unintentionally: We're working at cross-purposes.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
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References in periodicals archive ?
A hoard that includes directors who have no relationship with a CEO or other directors, who may lack critical competencies and who may perceive themselves as working at cross-purposes with management would be simply unworkable.
"What started as rehabilitation for heart attack patients has progressed to early detection of heart disease, and now, to recognizing that the apparently healthy may not be that well and the focus must be prevention." Despite advances in our understanding of heart disease, American culture still works at cross-purposes to health and well-being.
Well it may be that Coppe, Fox, and Winstanley were refashioning this idiom of rage; it is nonetheless true that they resorted to it even when they were at cross-purposes with its more orthodox applications.
In Baltimore Opera's second offering this season, a production of Tosca, Andrea Licata's conducting produced almost funereal tempi that dissipated much of the dramatic intensity of Puccini's operatic melodrama and worked at cross-purposes with former Opera de Montreal general director Bernard Uzan's otherwise well-pointed stage direction.
Fortunately, sensitive curating of the individual segments proved more powerful than their overall tendency to work at cross-purposes.
The executives are well meaning; they're just accidentally working at cross-purposes. Matrix management is singularly designed to be debilitating.
Furthermore, our various interests often conflict and, since it is hardly rational to remain at cross-purposes with one's self, we revise and develop our interests, trying to achieve a more harmonious way of life.
Constitution's commandment to allow interstate commerce to flow unimpeded have been at cross-purposes. In South Central Bell Telephone Co.