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aback

[ uh-bak ]
/ əˈbæk /
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adverb

toward the back.
Nautical. so that the wind presses against the forward side of the sail or sails.

adjective Nautical.

(of a sail) positioned so that the wind presses against the forward side.
(of a yard) positioned so that its sail is laid aback.

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Idioms for aback

    taken aback, surprised and disconcerted: I was taken aback by his harsh criticism.

Origin of aback

First recorded before 1000; Middle English abak, Old English on bæc “to the rear”; see a-1, on, back1
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

British Dictionary definitions for aback

aback
/ (əˈbæk) /

adverb

taken aback
  1. startled or disconcerted
  2. nautical (of a vessel or sail) having the wind against the forward side so as to prevent forward motion
rare towards the back; backwards
Old English on bæc to the back
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Idioms and Phrases with aback

aback

see take aback.

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.
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