off (one's) guard

(redirected from off their guard)

off (one's) guard

Not being especially careful or vigilant; not prepared for danger or surprises; being careless or inattentive. He's got a lot of tricky moves, so don't be caught off your guard! We'll wait until he's off his guard, and then we'll take him and his company for all they're worth!
See also: guard, off

off guard

Temporarily not careful or vigilant; unprepared for danger or surprises. I'll be honest, the question caught me off guard. I should have been more prepared for the interview. If we catch the defense off guard, this could be a big play. You must be off your rocker if you think that's a good idea!
See also: guard, off

off guard

Also, off one's guard. Not watchful, easily surprised. It is often put as catch (or be caught) off guard, meaning "take (or be taken) by surprise." For example, The securities analyst was caught off guard by that financial report, or With any luck the boss will be off guard when I come in late. [Late 1600s] The antonym, on guard or on one's guard, meaning "watchful or prepared, especially to defend oneself," was first recorded in 1577. For example, In this crowd we must be on guard against pickpockets, or I'm always on my guard when I'm asked how I voted.
See also: guard, off

off your guard

or

off guard

If you are off your guard or off guard, you are not taking actions to protect yourself against trouble. Note: Your guard is the position that you get in when you are ready to defend yourself in sports such as boxing or fencing. Miss Marple is not perceived to be a threat in any way. And, therefore, the criminal is off his guard. He was so pleasant over lunch that I was off guard and spoke freely. Compare with on your guard.
See also: guard, off

off (one's) guard

Not alert; unprepared.
See also: guard, off
References in classic literature ?
These fellows had evidently been silent and secretly dogging the party for a week past, and a distance of a hundred and fifty miles, keeping out of sight by day, lurking about the encampment at night, watching all their movements, and waiting for a favorable moment when they should be off their guard.
For at the last moment I had tucked my revolver behind my back, not only for the pleasure, but for the obvious advantage of getting them all in front of me and off their guard.
there's a gang of 'em) may be thrown off their guard.
When we were collected together we debated whether it would be better first to go for Zoraida, or to make prisoners of the Moorish rowers who rowed in the vessel; but while we were still uncertain our renegade came up asking us what kept us, as it was now the time, and all the Moors were off their guard and most of them asleep.
It is a time when people are off their guard and have expensive presents wrapped up and ready to give to friends.
There's no reason why the word "parking" shouldn't appear on them so I'm forced to conclude the words have been chosen to put people off their guard.
No wonder people are floundering at interviews, with potential bosses asking questions designed to knock candidates off their guard, such as: "Can you rap a line from Eminem and then analyse it?
uk, said men's standards have slipped so far over recent years that any offer of chivalry from a gentleman knocks a woman off their guard and is viewed with outright suspicion.
When he catches his neighbours off their guard in the lift, he cordially bombards them with comments about how much he is longing for full normalisation with them.
Angela Toner, corporate finance partner at the Newcastle office of Baker Tilly, believes recent political discussions about a further rise in CGT could gain momentum in the next few months and catch entrepreneurs off their guard.
They have been fast starters in their last few matches and if they catch Hearts off their guard early on, it could be a difficult afternoon for Laszlo's side, who could only draw 0-0 with bottom side Falkirk last time out.
In court, it was said his meticulous manner and slow nasal drawl could put defendants off their guard, while his handling of the most complex cases was described as supremely clinical - chilling, even.
But it's not long before he realises his position as goodwill ambassador is just a ruse to catch his adversaries off their guard - and he's soon drawn into danger.
I do think that sometimes I can catch people off their guard simply because I am a woman and they expect aman.
Sgt Dave Lees from Little Park police station said the offences were "needless thefts" where people were off their guard or had left property lying about.