Definition of "aback" [a•back•ab•ack]

  • By surprise: He was taken aback by her caustic remarks. (adverb)
  • Nautical In such a way that the wind pushes against the forward side of a sail or sails. (adverb)
  • Archaic Back; backward. (adverb)
  • Towards the back; backwards (adverb)

American Heritage(R) Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright (c) 2011 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

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Use "aback" in a sentence
  • "As I read your stories and especially your friends who so generously comment I am taken aback (is aback a word?) by the generous sharing of wisdom you receive from your friends at French-Word-A-Day."
  • "Hillary grew up in this culture, so yes she was taken "aback" by these comments; you, others, and obama being so shallow minded and dismissive of someones culture and values is ignorant. obama will never be President."
  • "The richness and elegance of the church took me all "aback;" it was so entirely different from anything I had seen, that it was difficult to decide whether I was most charmed by its novelty or its beauty."