off-key


Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
Related to off-key: out of key

off key

1. Literally, not in the correct key; out of tune. Hyphenated if used before a noun. I think your voice is a bit off key. Overall, the performance was very enjoyable, but there was one off-key brass player that was driving me nuts the whole night.
2. By extension, at odds with what is normal, standard, or expected. Hyphenated if used before a noun. There was something off key about the way he spoke that made me think that something was very wrong. Her character is an off-key caricature of modern superheroes.
See also: key, off

off-key

[of music or singing] off pitch; out of tune. She always sings off-key and makes the rest of the choir sound like baying hounds.
References in periodicals archive ?
Dad-of-two Lee, 32 - in untucked white shirt and open waistcoat - delivered an embarrassing off-key performance.
I was very awkward, too, and as a teacher said to me once, "You are off-key."
Even prim Charlie at the organ winces at the lightning strike, the choir hitting an impromptu, off-key high "C" over "C" while minister and congregation alike hear the towering fir north of our church grumble its old roots out of the earth and twist with a cracking, blown limbs crackling down on our brand new roof our Board of Deacons proudly approved just last year out of missionary funds, and we all jump up as if summoned, and of course we know we are, hustling in the thunderous roar of fir and roof coming down together, smashed beams sprinkling splinters like blessings upon us as we flee from our inside perspective to a new understanding that God wants His people, in their overweening pride, to hasten through doors and do His work meekly, not inside churches but outside.
On Sunday, plenty was made of an off-key Fernando Torres as Blues drew with Liverpool, keeping a first clean sheet of the season.
If you are going to insist on ruining other people's peaceful afternoons in the park with off-key warbling, do it with a more easily transportable instrument, like this travel guitar.
But there's no doubt that someone was badly off-key..
The 22-year-old Russian continued her dream run at Roland Garros by booking her place in her first ever grand slam final with a 6-3 6-2 victory over an off-key Svetlana Kuznetsova.
Accrington were off-key but came alive following the half-time interval as Gary Roberts broke free before over-running the ball and substitute Andy Mangan was foiled by an excellent stop by Sean Bowles.
He is known for his socialist politics, his off-key singing and his confrontation with an Israeli tank.
One complaint--each tape begins with a sappy violin interlude that veers off-key. Nancy Chaplin, Libn., VCCW, Goochland, VA
There's also a circus-tent cuteness to the Quails that includes stand-up bass, off-key harmonies and funny-looking costumes.
Will the painful off-key singing of the Mass by certain priests--who shall remain nameless--soon be a thing of the past?
Other adverts see Woody Allen ice skating at Rockefeller Centre, Barbara Walters auditioning off-key for a Broadway show and Henry Kissinger at Yankee Stadium.
Their activities largely involved playing a bit off-key while raising their bows sharply in the air, spinning around the sheet music which lay at their feet, and frequently picking up and moving or even lifting above their heads their impressive, burnt-chestnut double basses.
Yorick Williams top-scored with 18 points but it was an off-key night for his team-mates, with only Virgel Cobbin (15 points) finding some range.