Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • adjective Music Pitched higher or lower than the correct notes of a melody.
  • adjective Being out of accord with what is considered normal or appropriate.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • adjective Deviating from the proper pitch; -- of a musical note or series of notes.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • adjective music pitched inaccurately either above or below the correct note
  • adjective by extension not harmonious, or out of accord

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adjective inaccurate in pitch

Etymologies

Sorry, no etymologies found.

Examples

  • “You can have whatever you like,” Dyme sang off-key.

    Real wifeys

  • Eyes closed, she danced with the woman in her memory, slipping into her own off-key hum to accompany her steps when the words failed her.

    Healing the Highlander

  • In the decades since, the record's off-key vocals and hapless rhythms have made it both a musical punch line and, remarkably, a contrarian rallying point for inscrutable art.

    Sour Notes On Stage

  • Worried that the normal partisan overtones at the State of the Union address would seem off-key after the Jan. 8 shooting that targeted Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, some lawmakers sat with their colleagues across the aisle to listen to President Obama's speech.

    Odd Couples at the State of the Union

  • How we watch some hundred billion stars slide left to right each night while coyotes wail off-key and bats dip and swoop in their nightly smorgasbord.

    alice d’alessio | days we are given « poetry dispatch & other notes from the underground

  • The unconscionable truth fused his mind, body and soul in a foreign uncertainty and the rhythm that had heretofore produced harmony in his life was now off-key.

    Who Said It Would Be Easy

  • Eyes closed, she danced with the woman in her memory, slipping into her own off-key hum to accompany her steps when the words failed her.

    Healing the Highlander

  • In this case, it sounds as if the President blew off the question so, if it was orchestrated, the orchestra was off-key.

    Reliable Sources: Journos spar over Obama presser question

  • The unconscionable truth fused his mind, body and soul in a foreign uncertainty and the rhythm that had heretofore produced harmony in his life was now off-key.

    Who Said It Would Be Easy

  • How we watch some hundred billion stars slide left to right each night while coyotes wail off-key and bats dip and swoop in their nightly smorgasbord.

    December « 2009 « poetry dispatch & other notes from the underground

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