be caught flat-footed

be caught flat-footed

If someone is caught flat-footed ,they are put at a disadvantage when something happens which they do not expect. `The people around were caught flat-footed,' said Mr. Enko. `Nobody expected floods of such magnitude.' Note: You can also say that an event or action leaves someone flat-footed. Pentland had agreed to buy Adidas but pulled out of the deal suddenly, leaving the French millionaire flat-footed.
See also: caught