To be shocked or surprised by something or somebody.
Take aback, to surprise or shock, to discomfit.



  • have palpitations
  • taken unawares
  • not believe your luck
  • not believe your eyes
  • not know what hit you
  • take away one’s breath
  • as though you’ve seen a ghost
  • be like a rabbit caught in the headlights
  • almost have a heart attack
  • not believe your ears
  • thrown off guard
  • all of a sudden
  • thrown for a loss
  • horror of horrors
  • your eyes pop out of your head
  • leap out of your skin
  • strike with wonder
  • eyes out on stalks
  • be struck dumb

Sentence Examples

Taken aback by this outburst, Damian quickly retreated to rejoin Simon.

Well, as you can probably guess, I was taken aback by her appearance.

For a moment he watched, taken aback, then rose stiffly from the park bench and disappeared into the shadows of Pennsylvania Avenue.