catch (one) off guard(redirected from catch off-guard)
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.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
catch someone off guardand 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.
catch one off
(one's) guard Go to catch someone off guard.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
catch off guard
see under off guard.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
catch someone off guardor
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.
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012
catch somebody off (their) ˈguardhappen 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.
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