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
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

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
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

catch off guard

see under off guard.
See also: catch, guard, off
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 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
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012

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
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017
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References in periodicals archive ?
Don't be caught off-guard: At Home Group (NYSE:HOME) releases its next round of earnings this Wednesday, September 4.
Staff at the video game unit were caught off-guard by the announcement, and managers had to calm them and assure them that plans for the company's next video game console would not be affected, the authors note.
The hospital staff have been caught off-guard by the return of Tom Campbell-Gore (Denis Lawson).
But we should not be caught off-guard to be able to respond immediately to any eventuality," Eleazar said.
Not that you shouldn't be able to have both - Canadian singer Shania Twain who later apologised for her remark, saying she had been caught off-guard by a question "The times I feel the very best in my soul is when I can use the fact I'm a superhero and I can cheer up some sick kids.
The actor and triathlete was then caught off-guard by an encounter with a stranger yesterday.
The former Labour leader said the House of Commons exchange would never be abolished but revealed he still relives the toe-curling moments he was caught off-guard.
CLOWN DUELS Matt caught off-guard as Claire strikes
We knew that the cancer had returned and that the prognosis was not good, but we were still caught off-guard when death finally came.
SUNDERLAND AFC appears to have been caught off-guard by the controversy triggered in appointing Paolo Di Canio as the Premiership club's boss.
The company may have been caught off-guard by the smartphone revolution in 2007, but along the way the company helped to pioneer much of the technology we take for granted in the phones of today, such as the world's first satellite phonecall, the first 3G phone and the first mobile phone game.
One family in Malaga had to be rescued from the roof of a building after they were caught off-guard by the flooding.
The 21-year-old singer was caught off-guard when a wind machine at the concert blew up her dress and gave the audience a brief but clear view of her undergarments, the New York Daily News reported.
It is sad that people can get duped in this way and it is easy to trust and get caught off-guard. But my advice is not to accept anyone who turns up on the doorstep offering their services.
5 Tactics to Avoid Being Caught Off-guard. 6 Product tampering--a Constant Threat.