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(krôs′pûr′pəs, krŏs′-)
A usually unintentionally conflicting or contrary purpose.
at cross-purposes
Pursuing conflicting or contrary goals, usually unintentionally: We're working at cross-purposes.


1. a contrary aim or purpose
2. at cross-purposes conflicting; opposed; disagreeing


an opposing or contrary purpose.
at cross-purposes, in a way that involves mutual misunderstanding or produces mutual frustrations, usu. unintentionally.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.cross-purpose - a contrary aim; "at cross-purposes"
aim, intent, intention, purpose, design - an anticipated outcome that is intended or that guides your planned actions; "his intent was to provide a new translation"; "good intentions are not enough"; "it was created with the conscious aim of answering immediate needs"; "he made no secret of his designs"
References in classic literature ?
General Bagovut, a fighting old soldier of placid temperament, being also upset by all the delay, confusion, and cross-purposes, fell into a rage to everybody's surprise and quite contrary to his usual character and said disagreeable things to Toll.
It is needless to go into a detail of the variety of accidents and cross-purposes, which caused the failure of his scheme.
You and I are at cross-purposes. If you like, you shall have the truth from me."
I thought, moreover, that I discovered signs of cross-purposes, as between the young people, though I think a pocket-handkerchief subject to those general laws, concerning secrets, that are recognized among all honorable persons.
It may easily be imagined what a series of misunderstandings and cross-purposes would be likely to take place between such a crew and such a commander.
We were at cross-purposes. But, before I could reply, he showed me an open manuscript on his table, and said, in a more serious tone, "Here, M.
Horror smote her to the heart, for even she began to suspect that they were at cross-purposes, and that she had commenced her mission by some hideous blunder.
Clifford saw, it may be, in the mirror of his deeper consciousness, that he was an example and representative of that great class of people whom an inexplicable Providence is continually putting at cross-purposes with the world: breaking what seems its own promise in their nature; withholding their proper food, and setting poison before them for a banquet; and thus--when it might so easily, as one would think, have been adjusted otherwise--making their existence a strangeness, a solitude, and torment.
The results of a better alignment of renewables and energy efficiency policies, which can sometimes work at cross-purpose, will also contribute to improving energy security, energy access and bring other economic benefits.
His character will be pitted against Lange's character and he will be seen working at cross-purpose with her.
East London (S.Africa), Jan.27 (ANI): Outgoing South African cricket team coach Mickey Arthur today said that he resigned because his vision for the national squad was at cross-purpose to the plans being decided by Cricket South Africa.
"Since users have different points of relevance, Near-Time has become the hub of the constellation for RSS feeds, cross-purpose content, aggregation ...