catch (one) off guard

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catch (one) off guard

To engage, take advantage of, or seize upon one when one is not especially careful, vigilant, or prepared for danger or surprises. He's got a lot of tricky moves, so make sure he doesn't catch you off guard! The soldiers moved in quickly, hoping to catch the enemy troops off guard. I think I caught him off guard when I told him I was resigning.
See also: catch, guard, off

catch someone off guard

 and catch one off (one's) guard
Fig. to catch a person at a time of carelessness. Tom caught Ann off guard and frightened her. She caught me off my guard, and my hesitation told her I was lying.
See also: catch, guard, off

catch one off

(one's) guard Go to catch someone off guard.
See also: catch, off, one

catch off guard

see under off guard.
See also: catch, guard, off

catch someone off guard


take someone off guard

COMMON If something catches you off guard or takes you off guard, it happens unexpectedly and you are not prepared to respond to it. Note: Your guard is the position that you get in when you are ready to defend yourself in sports such as boxing or fencing. I didn't know how to answer him. The question caught me off guard. I wasn't expecting him to pass the ball to me and it took me off guard.
See also: catch, guard, off, someone

catch somebody off (their) ˈguard

happen when somebody is not prepared: The question caught him off his guard and he couldn’t answer.Businesses were caught off guard by the sudden rise in interest rates.
See also: catch, guard, off, somebody
References in periodicals archive ?
A video shows Garcia caught off-guard as Castro gave a speech in front of their family and friends.
CLOWN DUELS Matt caught off-guard as Claire strikes
SUNDERLAND AFC appears to have been caught off-guard by the controversy triggered in appointing Paolo Di Canio as the Premiership club's boss.
The 21-year-old singer was caught off-guard when a wind machine at the concert blew up her dress and gave the audience a brief but clear view of her undergarments, the New York Daily News reported.
It is sad that people can get duped in this way and it is easy to trust and get caught off-guard.
Many Developers are aware of the Erosion and Sediment Control component of the SWPPP; however, some have been caught off-guard with the second and third components of the SWPPP--permanent Water Quality and Quantity Controls--and how they apply to urban projects.
The should is something that the Institute has every right to decide for itself, while the "can" is so obvious that I was amazed that anyone, including it seems Martins and his panel, who might have been caught off-guard, should imagine that it couldn't.
Shooting for 200 participants, organizers were caught off-guard when they received over 500 expressions of interest.
Cannavaro admitted that he had been caught off-guard by Denmark's performance.
Explore ways to better prepare yourself for the hard times so that you and your association are not caught off-guard.
World-weary Frank Quinlan (William Hurt) and cock-eyed optimist Dorothy Winters (Andie MacDowell) have written about three-headed dogs and extraterrestrials' babies, but both are caught off-guard by a molting angel who looks into their hearts and finds the frail seeds of love.
American border colleges say they were caught off-guard in late May by an INS policy change that restricts Canadian and Mexican students from studying part-time in the United States.
When Dancy refers to a scientific name for them, Chance is caught off-guard.
They were caught off-guard by the emotional turmoil of suddenly not knowing whom to trust, being derailed by cultural potholes and organizational barriers.