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 ?
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.
Many CEOs don't realize how out of kilter their lives have become until they face a crisis," McCrovitz says.
Perhaps it would be no bad thing if people with such an attitude were to holiday elsewhere, in particular out of kilter Englishwomen.
Colborn added Park said his body was out of kilter and he felt tight before the bullpen session.
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.
Have we been too busy dwelling on the past to realise that we are slightly out of kilter with the future?
Michelotti called the current drug distribution system - with trained pharmacists distracted by mountains of paperwork better delegated to others - archaic and out of kilter.
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.
Where the experience of family life is negative there are real risks of consequences that can profoundly damage a child's life's chances and skew that life cruelly out of kilter.
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.
But Grudzielanek said it took him nearly three weeks to start feeling like his normal self, and by then his timing was out of kilter.
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.
He's got outstanding control, but when all those parts aren't working in unison, it throws everything out of kilter.
Harking back to the glory days of glam with a bit of punk thrown in, Placebo were out of kilter with the late '90s indie scene.