at cross-purposes

Definition of at cross-purposes

:in a way that causes confusion or failure because people are working or talking with different goals or purposes
  • We'll never succeed together if we continue to work at cross-purposes (with each other).
  • It became clear that they were talking at cross-purposes.

Word by Word Definitions

cross-purpose play cross-purposes
  1. : a purpose usually unintentionally contrary to another purpose of oneself or of someone or something else


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