be at cross purposes


Also found in: Legal.

be at cross purposes

To be in conflict with or in opposition to someone. You will never find success if you continue to be at cross purposes with your teammates.
See also: cross, purpose

be/talk at cross ˈpurposes

(of two people or groups) misunderstand what the other is referring to or trying to do: Mary and I spoke about Anne for a minute or two before I realized we were talking at cross purposes: I meant Anne Smith and Mary meant Anne Harris.
See also: cross, purpose, talk