take aback

Definition of take aback

  1. :  to surprise or shock (someone) —usually used as (be) taken aback When I told him my answer, he seemed taken aback. —often + by He was taken aback by her answer.

Word by Word Definitions

  1. :  to get into one's hands or into one's possession, power, or control: such as

    :  to seize or capture physically

    :  to get possession of (fish or game) by killing or capturing

  1. :  something that is taken:

    :  the amount of money received :  proceeds, receipts, income

    :  share, cut

  1. :  backward, back

    :  in a position to catch the wind upon the forward surface (as of a sail)

    :  by surprise :  unawares

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