Pronunciation: [am at kɹˈɒs pˈɜːpəsɪz] (IPA)

The phrase "am at cross purposes" is spelled exactly as it sounds. The first word, "am," is spelled with the letter A followed by the letter M. The second part, "at cross purposes," is spelled with the letters A-T, followed by the IPA transcription /krɒs ˈpɜːpəsɪz/. The use of the IPA transcription helps to clarify the pronunciation, indicating that the phrase is pronounced with a short O sound, followed by a soft S. The phrase means to have conflicting goals or intentions with someone else.

AM AT CROSS PURPOSES Meaning and Definition

  1. To be "at cross purposes" is an idiomatic expression that refers to a situation where two or more individuals have conflicting goals, misunderstandings, or conflicting interests that hinder effective communication or coordination. It implies that people involved in a conversation or working together fail to align their intentions or beliefs, which results in misunderstandings, confusion, or inefficiency.

    When two or more parties are at cross purposes, it means they are working towards different ends or have opposing viewpoints, often leading to a lack of progress or effective collaboration. Each party might be pursuing their own agenda and failing to understand or address the concerns or expectations of the other, causing a breakdown in communication and mutual understanding.

    This phrase is commonly used when describing a situation where there is a lack of harmony or agreement between individuals or groups. It can occur in a variety of contexts, such as personal relationships, business negotiations, or team projects. By being at cross purposes, people unintentionally work against each other or inadvertently obstruct progress due to a failure to communicate effectively, resulting in frustration and wasted energy.

    In summary, being "at cross purposes" implies a lack of understanding or alignment between people, leading to misunderstandings, conflicting goals, and inefficient communication that hampers progress or cooperation.


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