Here, because 'him' refers to another human suspect and 'you' to British Army Major Rachel Dalton (portrayed by Rhona Mitra), http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/english/downwind doesn't make sense and is out of context.

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    @LePressentiment: I think your edit is less than ideal, in that you've linked to your own previous use of "out of context". You're not a native speaker - but I am, and I don't think that is a very appropriate usage. Having said that, I think the most likely "synonym" in your contexct is simply irrelevant (which is not exactly the sense in which the expression "out of context" is normally used). Aug 4, 2014 at 16:53

7 Answers 7


The adjective incongruous describes something that is out of place. Something that does not blend in with its surroundings.

It would fit well in your example context.



However, the best definition will depend on the context, since something taken out of context can be described by a slew of adjectives such as misquoted, misconstrued, etc.


This may not answer your question exactly (as it isn't even an adjective), but I was also looking for a word to describe "taking something out of context, and stumbled across the following:

con·tex·to·my [kon-teks-tuh-mee]


The practice of misquoting someone by shortening the quotation or by leaving out surrounding words or sentences that would place the quotation in context.

Looks like a pretty good answer for the word you are looking for. Does it help?

For reference:

http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/contextomy https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fallacy_of_quoting_out_of_context

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    I guarantee that not a single native speaker will know this word if you ask a thousand of them off the street :P Sep 27, 2015 at 12:45
  • Haha. Maybe not a thousand, but I agree fully with your sentiment. It surprised me when I found it, and considering my appetite for unusual and obscure English words, my vocabulary would probably be somewhere above average (within reason, obviously — it would still probably look rather pitiful next to most scholars of the English language ;) Oct 13, 2015 at 9:46

I'm not sure if this is what you mean, but there is a word that describes when you have used a word out of context when you really mean a similar-sounding word: malapropism

I did so recently when I accidentally substituted 'inert' for 'innate'.

On Wikipedia.

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    A malapropism is a slip of the tongue usage of the wrong word. It is not an out-of-context usage of the correct word.
    – Chenmunka
    Oct 19, 2015 at 7:45

You are misunderstanding the phrase "out of context" with the phrase "isn't appropriate there". From what I've understood you think the word "downwind" isn't the appropriate word to use in that context.

In cases when something is somewhere where it shouldn't be - isn't appropriate or suitable there (doesn't fit in) we use:

  • inapt, inapplicable, inapposite, misplaced, Irrelevant

"Out of context" means 'Without the surrounding words or circumstances and so not fully understandable.'


Learn to use phrases rather than words. You can always change the formatting of a sentence to accommodate for the three-word adjective 'out-of-context'. In fact, that is arguably the best way to say it: the word 'non-contextual' dampens the meaning and sounds pretentious without adding value to any statement you could possibly throw it in.

Compare 'that's non-contextual' to `that's out-of-context' and let me know if you agree.

  • One word is always better than three words with the same meaning. Sep 12, 2018 at 17:15

"non sequitur"

is useful in many instances of non-context.

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