aback


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Related to aback: taken aback
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be set aback

To be startled, astonished, shocked, or disconcerted. (A less common variant of "be taken aback.") All of us were a bit set aback to learn that John was moving to England next month. I must admit that I was set aback when I heard we weren't receiving our bonuses this year.
See also: aback, set

set (someone) aback

To startle, astonish, shock, or disconcert someone. (A less common variant of "take someone aback.") It set us all aback a bit to learn that John was moving to England next month. I'm sure the news sets everyone aback, but please believe me that this is in the best interest of the company.
See also: aback, set

take (one) aback

To startle, astonish, shock, or disconcert one. It took us all aback a bit to learn that John was moving to England next month. I'm sure the news of the merger takes everyone aback, but please believe me that this is in the best interest of the company.
See also: aback, take

taken aback

Startled, astonished, shocked, or disconcerted. All of us were a bit taken aback to learn that John was moving to England next month. I must admit that I was taken aback when I heard we weren't receiving our bonuses this year.
See also: aback, taken

taken aback

Cliché surprised and confused. When Mary told me the news, I was taken aback for a moment. When I told my parents I was married, they were completely taken aback.
See also: aback, taken

take aback

Surprise, shock, as in He was taken aback by her caustic remark. This idiom comes from nautical terminology of the mid-1700s, when be taken aback referred to the stalling of a ship caused by a wind shift that made the sails lay back against the masts. Its figurative use was first recorded in 1829.
See also: aback, take

take someone aback

shock, surprise, or disconcert someone.
The phrase is frequently used in the passive form (be taken aback ): this was adopted in the mid 19th century from earlier (mid 18th-century) nautical terminology, to describe the situation of a ship with its sails pressed back against the mast by a headwind, preventing forward movement.
1991 Kathleen Jones Learning Not To Be First They were taken aback by the shabbiness of the hotel and lack of cleanliness in the city generally.
See also: aback, someone, take

be taken aˈback (by somebody/something)

be shocked or surprised by somebody/something: She was completely taken aback by his anger.
See also: aback, taken
References in periodicals archive ?
Laura added: "We were taken aback by the generosity of our customers.
we really something that people aback, them sit up listen.
has aback and raised my "There was a Lewis Carroll quote on the forum about extraordinary things happening to ordinary people and that's how I feel - all the help and support these lads have given me has really taken my breath away.
SCOTLAND's only concern is Duncan Taylor, who has aback problem with Sean Lamont poised to step up to the bench.
The Israeli banking system was taken aback by the threat of sanctions from the EU.
New Delhi : Taken aback by LK Advani's resignation from all party posts, BJP leaders on Tuesday said they will persuade him to reconsider it and were hopeful that he will do so.
Sprinter Usain Bolt isn't easily scared, but he was taken aback on Monday by a vigorous Maori haka that was performed to welcome him to New Zealand
Cowell himself seemed to be taken aback by the harsh words that spears said to the participants.
In a region of the world famed for its hospitality and generosity even the Queen was taken aback by the splendour of the gifts she received from a Middle East Sultan.
I was rather taken aback when she turned to the side and her huge bottom appeared to be as big as her pregnancy bump.
I was totally taken aback when he rang me to informme of his decision.
HOLLAND striker Ruud van Nistelrooy admits even he has been slightly taken aback by his side's explosive start to Euro 2008.
Glad to get another chance to hear the engaging ex-rugby player Martin Bayfield in action, the Fly was taken aback by a heckler, whose persistence beat off the protestations of even the host himself and appeared to curtail the speaker's flow.
While National Savings & Investment (NS&I) enjoys its "can't go bust" reputation - because it is Government-backed - some of its regulars might have been taken aback at its speed in reducing rates after the latest Bank base rate cut.
But last week we had sex for the first time, and I was pretty taken aback.