off base

Idioms & Phrases

off base

Wrong, relying on a mistaken premise, as in His description of the accounting system was totally off base. This metaphoric term originated in baseball, where a runner who steps off a base can be put out. [c. 1940]

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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