be taken by surprise

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be taken by surprise

To be happened upon when one is not ready, prepared, or on guard; to be shocked or startled by someone or something. I was taken completely by surprise when you showed up at my office this afternoon for lunch. I wish you would have called ahead! The enemy encampment was taken by surprise when our troops descended upon them just before daybreak.
See also: surprise, taken
References in periodicals archive ?
I am taken by surprise by the statements of certain European representatives.
And Shabbir Ahmed, Conservative city councillor for Foleshill, said: "I am taken by surprise.