out of joint

Idioms & Phrases

out of joint

  1. Dislocated, as in Trying to break his fall, he put his shoulder out of joint. [Late 1300s]

  2. See nose out of joint.

  3. Out of order, inauspicious or unsatisfactory, as in The entire lineup of our team is out of joint. Shakespeare had this term in Hamlet (1:5): "The time is out of joint." [Early 1400s]

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