View synonyms for off guard

off guard

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Idioms and Phrases

Also, off one's guard . Not watchful, easily surprised. It is often put as catch (or be caught) off guard , meaning “take (or be taken) by surprise.” For example, The securities analyst was caught off guard by that financial report , or With any luck the boss will be off guard when I come in late . [Late 1600s] The antonym, on guard or on one's guard , meaning “watchful or prepared, especially to defend oneself,” was first recorded in 1577. For example, In this crowd we must be on guard against pickpockets , or I'm always on my guard when I'm asked how I voted .

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Example Sentences

That brassy ploy had caught the Costa Ricans entirely off-guard and had knocked them off their stride.

Republicans were caught off-guard all campaign long and their response was atrocious.

And not in an interview, as was the case with Akin, who was caught off-guard, but in a prepared speech!

The response to the ad though has caught the campaign off-guard.

Nicholas McCarthy, director of The Pact, was caught off-guard when he learned Casper Van Dien wanted to be in his movie.

He hoped for a glimpse of the kangaroo-Gizl to see if he were as sincere off-guard as he had been during their interview.

Stillman knew at once that her ill-temper had caught her off-guard and she was already trying to crawl slowly back into his favor.

Joy is a lady of the finest breeding, but she can be caught off-guard at times.

In his mind was the conviction that we had pretended to be harmless animals so that we could catch him off-guard and kill him.

I wouldn't trust myself with you one minute off-guard like that.


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[ak-suh-lot-l ]

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Definitions and idiom definitions from Unabridged, based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

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