What does aback mean?

Definitions for aback

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word aback.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. abackadverb

    having the wind against the forward side of the sails

    "the ship came up into the wind with all yards aback"

  2. abackadverb

    by surprise

    "taken aback by the caustic remarks"


  1. aback

    Aback is an adverb that means surprised, shocked, or taken unaware. It's often used in the phrase "taken aback," indicating a strong or sudden surprise reaction. It can also refer to a backward position in sailing.

  2. aback

    Aback refers to a state of surprise, shock or confusion. It is usually used in the phrase "taken aback" which means to be suddenly and unexpectedly surprised or shocked. It can also refer to a backward positioning or direction, specifically in terms of sailing, when a ship's sails are filled from the opposite direction.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Abackadverb

    toward the back or rear; backward

  2. Abackadverb

    behind; in the rear

  3. Abackadverb

    backward against the mast; -- said of the sails when pressed by the wind

  4. Abacknoun

    an abacus

  5. Etymology: [Pref. a- + back; AS. on bc at, on, or toward the back. See Back.]

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Aback

    a-bak′, adv. (naut.) said of sails pressed backward against the mast by the wind—hence (fig.) Taken aback, taken by surprise, [A.S. on bæc. See On and Back.]

Dictionary of Nautical Terms

  1. aback

    The situation of a ship's sails when the wind bears against their front surfaces. They are laid aback, when this is purposely effected to deaden her way by rounding in the weather-braces; and taken aback, when brought to by an unexpected change of wind, or by inattention in the helmsman.--All aback forward, the notice given from the forecastle, when the head-sails are pressed aback by a sudden change in the wind. (See WORK ABACK.)--Taken aback, a colloquialism for being suddenly surprised or found out.

How to pronounce aback?

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  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of aback in Chaldean Numerology is: 9

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of aback in Pythagorean Numerology is: 9

Examples of aback in a Sentence

  1. Brittany Kaiser:

    I was very taken aback and disappointed in Sheryl Sandberg’s public statement that if an individual did not want to continue to share their data with FB they would have to pay, to me, that sounds like a threat. Continue to let us use your property or pay?

  2. Henri Barkey:

    It is ridiculous, of course, there’s a conspiracy culture in Turkey that has taken over. I was taken aback, but you are dealing with journalists who are not journalists. They are hacks.

  3. Niki DaSilva:

    I couldn’t leave her there alone, so I positioned myself between the co-worker and the attorney general to act as a buffer, after a few moments, Attorney General Hill put his hand on my back. I was taken aback by this gesture as we had never held a conversation before that night. I felt his hand start to slide slowly down my back.

  4. Anna Hofstetter:

    They sat at a little table right by the door, and they said that they got married here at the Hotel Nashville seven years ago, their check came out to $32.40. And when I picked up the receipt, I was a little taken aback.

  5. Emmy Ruiz:

    I remember the first meeting I ever walked into, i was surprised. I was taken aback. It was the most diverse room I've ever walked into in politics, and I've been a proud member of many diverse teams in politics.

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Translations for aback

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"aback." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 16 Jul 2024. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/aback>.

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    A elation
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