Definition of take someone aback in English:

take someone aback


  • Shock or surprise someone:

    ‘he was taken aback by her directness’
    • ‘I was a little taken aback by her use of the familiar term but I recovered quickly.’
    • ‘But it was the theatrical brutality of the piece that took me aback.’
    • ‘I was taken aback by that and answered with a question that has been bugging me.’
    • ‘I was taken aback by his sudden mood change and shifted in the leather seat uncomfortably.’
    • ‘He was so taken aback by the incident that he notified the local press in Donegal about it.’
    • ‘The consul was present at the Supreme Court hearing, and I think she was taken aback and shocked by what she heard.’
    • ‘People in England are aware of the divide, but the extent of it took me aback.’
    • ‘Everyone at our table was taken aback at his rudeness toward a paying customer.’
    • ‘She was taken aback when he smiled and bowed his head to her.’
    • ‘When you go to such a place, you are taken aback by the youthfulness of the crowd.’
    surprise, shock, stun, stagger, astound, astonish, startle, take by surprise
    dumbfound, daze, nonplus, stop someone in their tracks, stupefy, take someone's breath away
    jolt, throw, unnerve, disconcert, disturb, disquiet, unsettle, discompose, bewilder
    flabbergast, knock for six, knock sideways, knock out, floor, strike dumb
    View synonyms