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aback    : [əb'æk]
Aback \A*back"\ ([.a]*b[a^]k"), adv. [Pref. a- back; AS. on
b[ae]c at, on, or toward the back. See {Back}.]
1. Toward the back or rear; backward. "Therewith aback she
started." --Chaucer.
[1913 Webster]

2. Behind; in the rear. --Knolles.
[1913 Webster]

3. (Naut.) Backward against the mast; -- said of the sails
when pressed by the wind. --Totten.
[1913 Webster]

{To be taken aback}.
(a) To be driven backward against the mast; -- said of the
sails, also of the ship when the sails are thus
(b) To be suddenly checked, baffled, or discomfited.
[1913 Webster]

Aback \Ab"ack\ ([a^]b"ak), n.
An abacus. [Obs.] --B. Jonson.
[1913 Webster]

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

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  • take Meaning in the Cambridge English Dictionary
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English Dictionary  2005-2009

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