The definition of cattywampus, often spelled catawampus, is not lined up or not arranged correctly, or diagonally.
An example of something cattywampus are the positions of the items on the top of a coffee table after a two year old has been playing with them and moving them around.
[Dial.] var. of catawampus
- Her filing system was all cattywampus and no one in the office could find anything.
- After Tom's search for the lost memo, the items on top of his desk were all cattywampus.
- The unfinished renovation project had left the laundry room cattywampus; the washer and dryer were unhooked, the walls were unpainted and the sink was disconnected.
- The storm had knocked their sailboat cattywampus and it had slammed into the dock and taken on water.
- After the shocking news, Tricia couldn't settle down and study because her thoughts were all cattywampus.