be caught off (one's) guard

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be caught off (one's) guard

To be taken by surprise; to be caught when one is vulnerable, careless, or inattentive. We'll wait until he's caught off guard, and then we'll take him and his company for all they're worth! Don't be caught off your guard. There are a lot of suspicious characters around here.
See also: caught, guard, off
References in periodicals archive ?
Even after all the towering home runs she's hit in two remarkable seasons with the Stanford softball team, all the line drives she's ricocheted off outfield fences and all the laser beams she's sprayed into gaps, opponents are caught off guard.
Because colon cancer screening is not as prevalent as it should be, many are caught off guard by the diagnosis.
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