Caught unprepared, taken by surprise, as in The reporter's question caught the President flat-footed. This usage comes from one or another sport in which a player should be on his or her toes, ready to act. [c. 1900]
Words nearby caught flat-footed
How to use caught flat-footed in a sentence
A street sweeper was caught in the crossfire as a gunman fired at the officer, fatally wounding her in the back.
Luckily enough I have this dedicated flat that is just along from my house that I go to every day.
There were stomachs, taut and flat, but also undulating bellies, soft and bloated from the breakfast buffet.Powerful Congressman Writes About ‘Fleshy Breasts’|Asawin Suebsaeng|January 7, 2015|DAILY BEAST
Detectives with a fugitive task force caught up with Polanco and a friend on a Bronx street in the early afternoon.
If she got caught with a shank, they would up her custody level.How a ‘Real Housewife’ Survives Prison: ‘I Don’t See [Teresa Giudice] Having a Cakewalk Here’|Michael Howard|January 6, 2015|DAILY BEAST
Most of the men leaped up, caught hold of spears or knives, and rushed out.
Even as they gazed they saw its roof caught up, and whirled off as if it had been a scroll of paper.
But at the instant I caught a sight of my counterfeit presentment in a shop window, and veiled my haughty crest.God and my Neighbour|Robert Blatchford
When we'd finished, one of the hunters rounded up the horses and we caught our nags and saddled them.Raw Gold|Bertrand W. Sinclair
He caught himself in the act of listening to you too credulously—and that seemed to him unmanly and dishonorable.Confidence|Henry James