aback

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a·back / əˈbak/ • adv. 1. archaic toward or situated to the rear: the little strip of pasture aback of the house.2. Sailing with the sail pressed backward against the mast by a headwind.PHRASES: take someone aback shock or surprise someone.

aback

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aback late OE. on bæc, i.e. ON, A-1 and BACK1. From XVII of the sails of a ship laid back against the mast, esp. ‘be taken aback’ XVIII; hence fig. (of persons) be discomfited (XIX). Aphetic BACK2.