out of order

Idioms & Phrases

out of order

  1. Not functioning well, not operating properly or at all, as in The oil burner is out of order again. [Mid-1500s]

  2. Unsuitable, inappropriate, as in Her comments about the management were out of order. Also see out of line, def. 1.

  3. Not following parliamentary procedure, as in The chair called him out of order.

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