out of kilter
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- (Received Pronunciation) IPA(key): /ˌaʊt əv ˈkɪltə/
- (General American) IPA(key): /ˌaʊt əv ˈkɪltɚ/
Audio (AU) (file)
- Hyphenation: out of kil‧ter
- (idiomatic) Askew, disturbed; not adjusted or working properly; out of order.
- Synonyms: see Thesaurus:out of order
- I stayed up late to watch a movie, and my entire sleeping schedule has been out of kilter ever since.
- 1762, [Susan Smythies], “Presents the Reader with a Prospect of the Sullens”, in The Stage-coach: Containing the Character of Mr. Manly, and the History of His Fellow Travellers, Dublin: Printed by Henry Saunders […], OCLC 510549181, page 140:
- Aye, ſquire, that thing [a statue of Hercules] has been fixt in this ſpot I warrant you theſe hundred years; it was ſadly out of kilter when I came to the eſtate, but I got my neighbour the conſtable, who is a carpenter, to make him that right arm, and put the ſtaff into it, for I could not bear to ſee ſuch a clumſy log as he had in it before; [...]
- 1851 May 29, Sojourner Truth; reported by Frances D[ana] Gage, “Ohio [Reminiscences by Frances D. Gage. Sojourner Truth. [Ain’t I a Woman?]]”, in Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B. Anthony, and Matilda Joslyn Gage, editors, History of Woman Suffrage. [...] In Three Volumes, volume I (1848–1861), Rochester, N.Y.; London: Susan B. Anthony; Charles Mann […], published 1887, OCLC 10703030, page 116:
- Wall, chilern, whar dar is so much racket dar must be somethin' out o' kilter. I thik dat 'twixt de niggers of de Souf and de womin at de Norf, all talkin' 'bout rights, de white men will be in a fix pretty soon.
- 1890, Charles Erskine, chapter V, in Twenty Years before the Mast: […], Boston, Mass.: Published by the author, OCLC 13815425, page 72:
- [T]hey are either round-shouldered, knock-kneed, bow-legged, or parrot-toed; some are also badly cross-eyed. It seems as if they can see two different ways at the same time. Jack says they are lop-sided and out of kilter altogether.
- 1909, Robert W[illiam] Service, “The Man from Eldorado”, in Ballads of a Cheechako, Toronto, Ont.: William Briggs, OCLC 2068144, part I, stanza 2, page 71:
- [H]e lived on tinned tomatoes, beef embalmed and sourdough bread, / On rusty beans and bacon furred with mould; / His stomach’s out of kilter and his system full of lead, / But it's over, and his poke is full of gold.
- 1941 March 10, “An Airliner Cracks Up in Pine Woods near Atlanta and Seven People Die”, in Henry R[obinson] Luce, editor, Life, volume 10, number 10, Chicago, Ill.; New York, N.Y.: Time Inc., ISSN 0024-3019, OCLC 34142982, photograph caption, page 27:
- Snowstorms often knock the Government's Salt Lake radio range out of kilter.
- 2018 June 17, Barney Ronay, “Mexico’s Hirving Lozano stuns world champions Germany for brilliant win”, in Katharine Viner, editor, The Guardian, London: Guardian News & Media, ISSN 0261-3077, OCLC 229952407:
- This was a champion team out of kilter, stung by what was arguably an act of disrespect to their opponents, a failure to appreciate their threat and the fine planning of Carlos Osorio, and never really able to regain its balance.
The term is often preceded by throw, as in “an impact can throw the adjustment out of kilter”.
askew, disturbed; not adjusted or working properly
- ^ “KELTER, sb.1 and v.1” in Joseph Wright, editor, The English Dialect Dictionary: […], volume III (H–L), London: Published by Henry Frowde, […], publisher to the English Dialect Society, […]; New York, N.Y.: G. P. Putnam’s Sons, 1902, →OCLC, page 415, column 2.
- ^ “kelter, kilter, n.2”, in OED Online , Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1901; “kilter, n.” in Lexico, Dictionary.com; Oxford University Press.