A a


    • US Pronunciation
    • US IPA
    • UK Pronunciation
    • UK IPA
    • [uh-bak]
    • /əˈbæk/
    • /əˈbæk/
    • US Pronunciation
    • US IPA
    • [uh-bak]
    • /əˈbæk/

Definitions of aback word

  • adverb aback towards the back; backwards 3
  • adverb aback backward; back 3
  • adverb aback backward against the mast, as the sails of a square-rigged vessel in a wind from straight ahead 3
  • adverb aback toward the back. 1
  • adverb aback Nautical. so that the wind presses against the forward side of the sail or sails. 1
  • adjective aback (of a sail) positioned so that the wind presses against the forward side. 1

Information block about the term

Origin of aback

First appearance:

before 1000
One of the 6% oldest English words
before 1000; Middle English abak, Old English on bæc to the rear. See a-1 on, back1

Historical Comparancy

Parts of speech for Aback


aback popularity

A common word. It’s meaning is known to most children of preschool age. About 87% of English native speakers know the meaning and use the word.
This word is included in each student's vocabulary. Most likely there is at least one movie with this word in the title.

aback usage trend in Literature

This diagram is provided by Google Ngram Viewer

Synonyms for aback

adv aback

  • surprised — to strike or occur to with a sudden feeling of wonder or astonishment, as through unexpectedness: Her beauty surprised me.
  • confused — If you are confused, you do not know exactly what is happening or what to do.

adjective aback

  • back — If you move back, you move in the opposite direction to the one in which you are facing or in which you were moving before.
  • tailer — the limitation of an estate to a person and the person’s heirs or some particular class of such heirs.
  • in the wake of — the track of waves left by a ship or other object moving through the water: The wake of the boat glowed in the darkness.
  • back of — the rear part of the human body, extending from the neck to the lower end of the spine.
  • hind — situated in the rear or at the back; posterior: the hind legs of an animal.

Top questions with aback

  • what does taken aback mean?
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  • what is the meaning of aback?

See also

Matching words

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