aback

[ uh-bak ]
/ əˈbæk /

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

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. 2020

British Dictionary definitions for taken 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

Word Origin for aback

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 taken aback (1 of 2)

taken aback

see take aback.

Idioms and Phrases with taken aback (2 of 2)

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.