cross purpose

(redirected from cross-purpose)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus.

cross purpose

A goal or purpose that conflicts with someone else's. Often used in the phrase "at cross purposes." It sounds like you two are at cross purposes right now, so take a few minutes and reach an agreement about what you hope to achieve.
See also: cross, purpose
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
See also:
References in periodicals archive ?
Overly animated or excessively empathetic personas may represent the most egregious example of company and customer working at cross-purposes. The company wants to present the customer with a nice image of itself.
ship ''Kurofune'' opened Japan to the world and led to its modernization, the two countries ended up ''at cross-purposes'' and war -- an irony that reflects the relationship between the United States and Japan after the Meiji era which started from 1868.
Often, when used at the same time, these two classes of drugs work at cross-purposes, says Ram Sasisekharan, a biological engineer at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
The priorities of smooth implementation of the initiatives and the avoidance of duplication become tangled in the web of cross-purposes and counter-posing goals.
In France, the report points out, police and intelligence agencies have not only failed to coordinate but have sometimes worked at cross-purposes. The report also cautions that the intelligence programs have suffered from a lack of oversight or legislative control.
Are formal and informal communications inputs working at cross-purposes? Are workers being kept informed in a timely way about all relevant aspects of their work?
REACHING OUT TO THE GAY COMMUNITY HAS ALSO BEEN DIFFICULT, SINCE THE TWO GROUPS OFTEN FIND THEMSELVES AT CROSS-PURPOSES.
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.
At illuminating cross-purposes with Virilio's desultory ruminations on an accident-induced "end of humanity," Artavazd A.
"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.
The drivers are not necessarily mutually reinforcing; in some cases, they will 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.