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Definition of the adverb aback

What does aback mean as an attribute of something other than a noun?


  1. having the wind against the forward side of the sails
    • example: the ship came up into the wind with all yards aback
  2. by surprise
    • example: taken aback by the caustic remarks

Alternative definition of the adverb aback


  1. [rare] Towards the back or rear; backwards; away.
  2. Behind; in the rear.
  3. [nautical] Backward against the mast; said of the sails when pressed by the wind from the "wrong" (forward) side.

Definition of the noun aback

What does aback mean as a name of something?


  1. [obsolete] An abacus.

Phrases with aback

  1. take aback
  2. Brace Aback
  3. taken aback

Printed dictionaries and other books with definitions for aback

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Google previewA Naval Encyclopaedia: Comprising a Dictionary of Nautical Words and Phrases (1884)

Biographical Notices, and Records of Naval Officers; Special Articles on Naval Art and Science


The sails are laid aback, or thrown aback, by hauling in the weatherbraces or by putting the helm down, or both.

Google previewAllen's Dictionary of English Phrases (2008)

by Robert Allen

aback be taken aback to be surprised or disconcerted. Aback is an Old English word meaning 'backward', 'to the rear', and survives in ...

Google previewThe dictionary of trade, commerce and navigation (1844)

Aback .

Online dictionaries and encyclopedias with entries for aback

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Small photo of Aback doctor in his studio. Use new technologies. The office has an antique desk and a green lamp shade of green.Small photo of March 13th on a calendar marked with daylight savings time with aback markerSmall photo of Beige leather clutch isolated on white,abackSmall photo of burgundy leather clutch, aback, isolated on whiteSmall photo of Aback doctor in his studio. Use new technologies. The office has an antique desk and a green lamp shade of green.Small photo of Stylish, hugging couple stands aback on the yardSmall photo of Rows of circle promenade motor boat at rest with man in one and construction buildings aback in Seoul More...

Video language resources about aback

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See also the pronunciation examples of aback!

Quotes about aback

Dappled and bay horses,
Four chariots came out from between the two mountains!
And like the wind of war being held aback,
But one day it will blow all over the earth. (Edward Kofi Louis)
more quotes about aback...

Scrabble value of A1B3A1C3K5

The value of this 5-letter word is 13 points. It is included in the first and second editions of the Official Scrabble Players Dictionary.

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