cross-purpose

noun cross-pur·pose \ ˈkrȯs-ˈpər-pəs \

Definition of cross-purpose

: a purpose usually unintentionally contrary to another purpose of oneself or of someone or something else usually used in plural
  • the two were always working at cross-purposes

First Known Use of cross-purpose

1668



Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up cross-purpose? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!

WORD OF THE DAY

having a quality expressive of sadness

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

February 2018 Words of the Day Quiz

  • a-dog-in-snow-jumping-to-grab-a-heart-shaped-balloon-the-snow-and-heart-balloon-indicate-that-the-month-being-represented-is-april-and-the-dog-is-just-kinda-cute
  • Which is a synonym of sanguine?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Citation

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!