Definition of take someone aback in English:

take someone aback

phrase

  • Shock or surprise someone.

    ‘he was taken aback by her directness’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘But it was the theatrical brutality of the piece that took me aback.’
    • ‘He was so taken aback by the incident that he notified the local press in Donegal about it.’
    • ‘I was a little taken aback by her use of the familiar term but I recovered quickly.’
    • ‘I was taken aback by his sudden mood change and shifted in the leather seat uncomfortably.’
    • ‘She was taken aback when he smiled and bowed his head to her.’
    • ‘I was taken aback by that and answered with a question that has been bugging me.’
    • ‘Everyone at our table was taken aback at his rudeness toward a paying customer.’
    • ‘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
    View synonyms