Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Legal.

caught unawares

To be surprised by someone or something. A: "Oh man, I was totally caught unawares when your mother showed up here this morning." B: "I figured as much when she told me that you answered the door in your robe and curlers!"
See also: caught, unawares

catch/take somebody unaˈwares

surprise somebody; do something when somebody does not expect it: Her sudden refusal took me unawares.You caught us unawares by coming so early.
References in periodicals archive ?
We smash through things live - we'll play ten songs in an hour where other bands would play five - we're quite energetic and we try and catch people unawares.
Pair this with Lee Smith's article on page 14 of this issue and you should never be caught unawares again--until the airborne reroute, that is.
As Tareq escorts Juliette around the city, they find themselves in the middle of a brief affair that catches them both unawares.
With all the Bay players upfield and caught unawares, Sanna was left exposed and Jay Leitch-Smith went through the formality of scoring to make it 1-1.
The Macedonian Government, she concludes, should have learned by now that stalling for time may give bad results as in fact happened with the reassurances that the crisis would bypass us, but eventually it struck with all its might catching the state unawares.
1 : without warning : by surprise <"The danger is being caught unawares.
Byline: The tumbling of markets yesterday after two days of good business did not catch investors unawares.
The first recurrence of Independence Day, like many an anniversary, caught its celebrants unawares.
When MaryAnn, a counselor for battered women, dares to venture into South America to offer guidance to a brutalized young woman, she walks unawares into a remorseless trap--Manolito waits to ensnare her with seductive, predatory power.
Security vendors have warned that the "Happy New Year" worm could catch employees returning from New Year's celebrations unawares, but it's easy to spot and can be prevented.
Instead of showing them in a series, ITV tries to catch us unawares by sneaking them into the schedule every now and then.
Otherwise, the third part of Washington's vision and prophecy for America will come upon us unawares and unprepared while we are still arguing about whether Lincoln was good or bad.
Sometimes love catches us unawares and it brightens up our lives and gives it a new vibrancy.
The city was caught unawares and more than 2200 people perished.