Out to Lunch

Meaning of Idiom ‘Out to Lunch’

To be out to lunch means to be unattentive to what one is doing; out of touch with the real world; having poor mental judgment; crazy or insane. 1Ammer, Christine. American Heritage Dictionary of Idioms. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2013.,2Heacock, Paul. Cambridge Dictionary of American Idioms]. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2010.,3Ayto, John. Oxford Dictionary of English Idioms. Oxford: Oxford U, 2010.


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Examples Of Use

“It turns out the board of directors was out to lunch and completely unaware that the new head of the company was running it into the ground.”

“We were on a winning streak but we lost the last game badly. I don’t know what happened. We were out to lunch that day.”

“He’s a great designer but as a businessman, he’s out to lunch.”

“That guy is out to lunch. He claims he saw aliens in his back yard.”

Origin

Used since the mid-1900s. 4Ammer, Christine. American Heritage Dictionary of Idioms. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2013.

This idiom is based on the literal meaning of ‘out to lunch,’ meaning one has stepped away from their place of business or their job to eat lunch. 5Ayto, John. Oxford Dictionary of English Idioms. Oxford: Oxford U, 2010.

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Sources   [ + ]

1, 4. Ammer, Christine. American Heritage Dictionary of Idioms. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2013.
2. Heacock, Paul. Cambridge Dictionary of American Idioms]. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2010.
3, 5. Ayto, John. Oxford Dictionary of English Idioms. Oxford: Oxford U, 2010.