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 ?
The game's decisive moment came on 34 minutes, when Rhyl's Gareth Owen took a quick free-kickout on the right and, with Town's defence caught off guard, Horanstole in on the left to hit the winner.
We were caught off guard and England were more physical than us.
Villagers, who were caught off guard, fled their homes, but later returned with drums and firecrackers to scare off the herd of around six elephants.
She remained in power for the next four years she remained, but was blamed for being caught off guard when war broke out between Israeli and Arab forces in 1973 and resigned in April 1974, dying four years later.
CARTOONIST Ken Wilkins sees the funny side of a story in the Telegraph about Warwickshire police being forced to make changes to the way they deal with travellers after being caught off guard by a record number of illegal camps.
That way, the reporter won't be caught off guard when a story hits.
The ambassador appeared to have been caught off guard by the question, which came when he called on Israel to disarm to create a nuclear-free Middle East.
RECENTLY WHILE DOING SOME RESEARCH for a story, I was caught off guard when I found a web log purportedly written by Philip Eaton, president of Seattle Pacific University (Wash.
In a section entitled "Operation Germ Evasion," the authors provide a list of suggested responses that germ freaks should memorize, so they won't be caught off guard at a party when faced with ignorant comments from non-germ freaks.
However, suppliers are not being caught off guard by a sharply higher buying level, which should keep supply and demand in better balance.
Larry is caught off guard by these changes, as well as by changes in himself.
Nothing is worse than having a reference being caught off guard.
Masters, caught off guard, were unceremoniously killed, sugarcane fields set afire, and one plantation after another, destroyed.