Definition of out of order in English:

out of order

phrase

  • 1(of a device) not working properly or at all.

    ‘the elevator was out of order’
    • ‘The elevator is constantly out of order; nobody has ever tried to fix it.’
    • ‘The idea of climbing five stories of stairs made his head spin, and the elevator was out of order.’
    • ‘Mind you, my nearest proper cashpoint - at the station - has been out of order for six months.’
    • ‘My brother-in-law had a phone installed three weeks ago and it has been out of order longer than it has been usable.’
    • ‘Housing bosses have apologised to residents of a Bradford 14 storey tower block over a lift which has been out of order for seven months.’
    • ‘BT engineers are working round the clock to restore services, but about 2,400 lines are still out of order.’
    • ‘Then when I got to the office I found that the lift was out of order and that I'd have to climb all the way to the 4th floor using the stairs.’
    • ‘BT told us our telephone would be out of order until July 8.’
    • ‘They also claim residents dare not use the lift because it continually breaks down, and most of the intercoms linked to the building's entry system are out of order.’
    • ‘The bleedin ticket machine is out of order too.’
    not working, not in working order, not functioning, broken, broken-down, out of service, out of commission, acting up, unserviceable, faulty, defective, non-functional, inoperative, in disrepair
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  • 2Not in the correct sequence.

    ‘he recorded the seven pieces out of order’
    • ‘It feels like the sequence is out of order with the rest of the movie.’
    • ‘It is like being in an art gallery; the reader can read the pieces in order, out of order, any way that excites.’
    • ‘The only way I could be more intrigued with it would probably be if it had been released in bits and pieces, out of order, and left as clues all over the internet.’
    • ‘At Midway in 1942, Navy pilots trained to attack in a precisely choreographed sequence ignored their instructions and attacked out of order.’
    • ‘At first I thought it might be a problem with sequencing so I tried playing the record out of order.’
    • ‘This is an old man remembering his life: scenes appear out of order.’
    • ‘It was Fiona's first day at Nursery, so his weekday morning routine was out of order already, and I put much of his bad humour down to that fact.’
    • ‘His books do read best chronologically as he always has running storylines, but I've read them out of order and it's no great problem.’
  • 3Not according to the rules of a meeting, legislative assembly, etc.

    ‘he ruled the objection out of order’
    • ‘An earlier request by his supporters for an extraordinary general meeting was ruled out of order because it had not been submitted in accordance with party rules.’
    • ‘In the past, moves to protect the environment have been ruled out of order because of trade legislation.’
    • ‘The Republicans, ruling the amendment out of order, defeated it in a party-line vote of 222-200.’
    • ‘Despite being ruled out of order on several occasions Dr Cowley continued to address the point and was eventually dismissed amid uproar.’
    • ‘The word ‘duplicitous’ has been ruled out of order on a number of occasions in this House, and my view is that the expression the member used is so close to that as to be the same.’
    • ‘I ruled subsequent interjections out of order.’
    • ‘I think that remark should be ruled out of order.’
    • ‘The amendments in the name of Dr Nick Smith have been ruled out of order as they are inconsistent with the previous decision of the Committee.’
    • ‘Someone attempted to ask a question and initially the Speaker in his wisdom ruled it out of order, but upon reflection he allowed it.’
    • ‘Even if that point were correct, I suggest that the question is out of order on another ground.’
    1. 3.1British informal (of a person or their behaviour) unacceptable or wrong.
      ‘Chris was well out of order’
      • ‘A Warminster man admitted his drunken behaviour had been out of order when he appeared before magistrates.’
      • ‘His behaviour in front of the children was out of order.’
      • ‘The referee stopped the fight early and he was out of order because I could have carried on.’
      • ‘He walked close up to the manager and said: ‘You're out of order.’’
      • ‘A 15 per cent council tax rise is well out of order, especially if it includes spending £2.7 million on an art museum.’
      • ‘O'Connell was out of order and deserved the red card.’
      • ‘‘They were totally out of order in the way they spoke to everybody,’ he said.’
      • ‘Mind you, as an old man I'd say this was well out of order.’
      • ‘There's going to be a little comeback this time, because enough of us feel that Senior Manager is bang out of order on several counts.’
      • ‘Some of the things he was saying concerning the Make Poverty History Campaign were completely out of order.’
      unacceptable, unfair, unjust, unjustified, uncalled for, below the belt, out of turn, not done, unreasonable, unwarranted, unnecessary, wrong, beyond the pale, improper, irregular
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