Take-aback meaning

(idiomatic) To surprise or shock; to discomfit.

I was rather taken aback by his angry reply.

The bad news took us aback.

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(nautical, usually passive) Of a ship: to catch it with the sails aback suddenly.
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Origin of take-aback

  • From take + aback, see the two entries for their respective etymology.
    From Wiktionary