taken aback

taken aback
confused or surprised by something unexpected.

Company executives have been taken aback by the criticism.

I asked him directly if he was looking for someone with my skills, and I think he was kind of taken aback.

Etymology: based on the literal meaning of aback (= backward), which is not used in modern English

New idioms dictionary. 2014.

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • taken aback — also[taken back] {adj.} Unpleasantly surprised; suddenly puzzled or shocked. * /When he came to pay for his dinner he was taken aback to find that he had left his wallet at home./ …   Dictionary of American idioms

  • taken aback — also[taken back] {adj.} Unpleasantly surprised; suddenly puzzled or shocked. * /When he came to pay for his dinner he was taken aback to find that he had left his wallet at home./ …   Dictionary of American idioms

  • taken aback — Taken by surprise • • • Main Entry: ↑aback …   Useful english dictionary

  • taken aback — Meaning Surprised. Origin When the wind changes direction the sails of a sailing ship sometimes blow back against the mast, i.e. they are taken aback …   Meaning and origin of phrases

  • taken\ aback — adj Unpleasantly surprised; suddenly puzzled or shocked. When he came to pay for his dinner he was taken aback to find that he had left his wallet at home. See: take back •• to (be) cause(d) a feeling of surprise or astonishment, often also with… …   Словарь американских идиом

  • taken aback — unpleasantly surprised, suddenly puzzled or shocked I was taken aback when she said that she didn t want to work with us any longer …   Idioms and examples

  • To be taken aback — Aback A*back ([.a]*b[a^]k ), adv. [Pref. a + back; AS. on b[ae]c at, on, or toward the back. See {Back}.] 1. Toward the back or rear; backward. Therewith aback she started. Chaucer. [1913 Webster] 2. Behind; in the rear. Knolles. [1913 Webster] 3 …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • taken aback — adjective a) surprised, shocked b) said of a ship, when the wind, suddenly changing, forces the sails aft against the mast …   Wiktionary

  • taken aback — disconcerted (See discontent) …   English dictionary for students

  • taken aback — disconcerted, surprised, dismayed …   English contemporary dictionary

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