aback /əˈbak/

a

I. adverb

1.
‹archaic› towards or situated to the rear; back.

the little strip of pasture aback of the house.
2.
[Sailing] with the sail pressed backwards against the mast by a headwind.

Peter holds the jib aback until our bow swings across the wind.
II. phrases

take someone aback
shock or surprise someone

he was taken aback by her directness.
– origin Old English on bæc (see a-2, back). The term came to be treated as a single word in nautical use.

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