out of kilter


Also found in: Acronyms.

out of kilter

1. Out of equilibrium; not straight, level, or aligned properly. This wall is a little out of kilter. We'll need to account for that during the renovation.
2. In a state of confusion or chaos. The economy has remained out of kilter in many countries across Europe, even as the global economy has started to recover. It seems like everything in my life has gone out of kilter recently.
3. Not working correctly or properly; out of order; out of w(h)ack. It sounds like your car's engine is a bit out of kilter. I'd recommend taking it to a mechanic before you go for any long drives.
See also: kilter, of, out

*out of kilter

 and *off-kilter 
1. Lit. out of balance; crooked or tilted. (*Typically: be ~; get ~; knock something ~.) John, your tie is sort of off-kilter. Let me fix it. Please straighten the picture on the wall. It's out of kilter.
2. Fig. malfunctioning; on the fritz. (*Typically: be ~; go ~.) My furnace is out of kilter. I have to call someone to fix it. This computer is out of kilter. It doesn't let me log on.
See also: kilter, of, out

out of kilter

Also, out of whack. Not properly adjusted, not working well, out of order. For example, This whole schedule is out of kilter with the rest of our projects, or The wheels on the trailer are out of whack. The first term, also spelled kelter, dates from the early 1600s and its origin is not known. The precise allusion of the variant, a colloquial term dating from the late 1800s, is also unclear. Possibly it relates to a whack, or blow, throwing something off, or some suggest, to wacky, that is, "crazy."
See also: kilter, of, out

out of kilter

out of harmony or balance.
Kilter , dating from the early 17th century, was a dialect word meaning ‘frame or order’. It is now used only in this phrase.
See also: kilter, of, out

out of ˈkilter

out of harmony or balance; not working properly: Long-haul flights tend to throw your body clock out of kilter for a couple of days.
See also: kilter, of, out

out of kilter

1. mod. not functioning properly; on the fritz; out of w(h)ack. My car’s engine is out of kilter and needs some repair work.
2. mod. out of square. That corner is not square, and the wall even looks out of kilter.
See also: kilter, of, out
References in periodicals archive ?
Minister without Portfolio Mr Mandelson told the Newspaper Society luncheon the second city was "out of kilter" with other regions, who were now enthusiastically promoting celebrations.
Much of the movement is out of kilter, with dancers hinging away from or falling off center, pushing through space with flexed hands and feet.
Scientists believe the clay to be fallout from an impact dust cloud that would have circled the Earth, blocking out light and knocking the climate out of kilter.
"The current balance between the 'public interest in freedom of the press and free expression' and other matters of public interest appears to me out of kilter," she told the inquiry in a written witness statement.
Perhaps it would be no bad thing if people with such an attitude were to holiday elsewhere, in particular out of kilter Englishwomen.
That, Moxon pointed out, threw everything else out of kilter.
A SHY teenager's mundane routine is thrown out of kilter when she learns she is a princess.
One section is angular and asymmetrical; the shapes are out of kilter, yet Caponigro remains centered throughout.
Every now and then, something happens that makes you think the world is out of kilter.
TWO out of five employees feel their lives are out of kilter and the balance between work and home is wrong, says a recent report.
What was out of kilter in the festival was that dancers not yet able to handle half-hour stretches did so anyway, and works like Raymond Johnson's My Sin and TV Land lost their point.
Our old calendar was out of kilter with the Gregorian calendar but the thought of this plant not being in flower for Christmas delayed our accepting the new calendar for 200 years!
The block in which they are housed is nothing short of an eyesore and decidedly out of kilter with the other buildings on this famous street.
Some critics reckoned the mix was a bit out of kilter but sexy couture has always been Vivienne's stockin' trade.
There were astonishing phrases in which she was so out of kilter, so at odds with her own body, that it amounted to a bizarre, twisted kind of virtuosity, though the presentation was anything but theatrical or grotesque.