off-key

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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
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

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.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
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References in periodicals archive ?
Scenes like the two in a videoke joint, singing (offkey) Whitney Houston's "Where Do Broken Hearts Go"legally used here, by the wayare predictable, but no less endearing.
MANCHESTER CITY SOME of Roberto Mancini's utterances might have been a bit offkey lately but they were a lesson in how to win with dignity on Sunday.
Both sides carved out good opportunities in the second-half, several falling to a strangely offkey Quinn, while substitute Danny Griggs missed a sitter on 86 minutes.
9), Bobby Erdrich's one-woman show "Madame Sheeeza Offkey" (Jan.
Sometimes it's better for celebs to keep their relationship lowkey so it won't go offkey.
Springfield actress Bobby Erdrich will sing Gay Nineties songs and do old-time comedy bits in period costume in a one-person show, "Madam Sheeza Offkey," at 2:30 p.m.
Scrawny school dropouts bang flattened bottle caps tacked to sticks, to accompany offkey carols.
On the other hand, there is a sense of something offkey.
The skipper was again offkey at Fulham but Redknapp said the onus was on Keane to get his head round the situation that he is no longer an automatic selection.
PIANO MAN: At Motown's famous Studio A; OFFKEY: Ben singing My Girl; JAZZ UP (right): There's more to the city than Motown
Tracy told the resort's town hall she's been "overwhelmed" by fans' support for the plans for a bronze of the Manchester-born star renowned for his mother-in-law jokes and offkey piano playing.
Gareth Southgate's squad were totally offkey, hit all the wrong notes, and turned in a show that will be held up as how not to perform on the big stage.
Sir Alex Ferguson blamed the offkey performances on a lack of time on the pitch and was confident the England striker was close to showing once again why United paid pounds 27million for him two years ago.
Today, after a great deal of hard work and good will, the two women are running their own buzzing business - the Offkey Eco-Cybercafe in Harlesden, North West London.