This has always put Arabs aback, made them vulnerable and eager to avoid uncalculated escalation.
An order well understood to mean, fill the main-topsail, after it has been aback, or the ship hove-to.
Well, when you consider that, can you wonder I was set all aback?
A word used in veering for aback, alluding to the situation of the head-yards in paying off.
It took her aback by its directness, and for a moment left her without an answer.
This discovery knocked us all aback, and we were quite at a loss how to proceed.
I certainly took him aback, and he almost dropped the glass.
And there she saw a thing that struck her so aback with amazement, that every timid sense was mute.
When he tried to come nearer her she laughed and thrust him aback.
His reply took me aback, until his sinister face broadened into a smile.
c.1200, from Old English on bæc "at or on the back;" see back (n.). Now surviving mainly in taken aback, originally a nautical expression in reference to a vessel's square sails when a sudden change of wind flattens them back against the masts and stops the forward motion of the ship (1754). The figurative sense is first recorded 1840.