- (tr, adverb) to astonish or disconcert
Related Words for take abackmystify, dumbfound, bewilder, faze, disconcert, astound, baffle, astonish, daze, fluster, overwhelm, flabbergast, shock, boggle, confound, amaze, startle, stupefy, stun, confuse
Surprise, shock, as in He was taken aback by her caustic remark. This idiom comes from nautical terminology of the mid-1700s, when be taken aback referred to the stalling of a ship caused by a wind shift that made the sails lay back against the masts. Its figurative use was first recorded in 1829.