knock someone sideways

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knock (one) sideways

1. To cause one to topple over as a result of a very forceful impact. The cyclist wasn't going very fast at all, but he still knocked me sideways when he ran into me. The child was standing at the edge of the beach when a large wave knocked her sideways.
2. To shock, surprise, astonish, or bewilder one, especially in a distressing or upsetting manner. I know the death of his mother really knocked Tom sideways. It knocked everyone in the company sideways when Olivia announced that she was leaving.
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knock someone sideways

BRITISH
If something knocks you sideways, it makes you feel amazed, confused, or very upset. What knocks most visitors sideways is the sheer power and beauty of the place. Something like this, a huge shock, completely knocks you sideways. Compare with be knocked sideways.
See also: knock, sideways, someone

knock someone sideways

affect someone very severely; make someone severely depressed or unable to cope. informal
1998 Penelope Lively Spiderweb It's always knocked me sideways—the thought of what we carry around, stashed away.
See also: knock, sideways, someone
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