Definition of aback:

part of speech: adverb

Backwards; by surprise.

part of speech: adverb

Said of sails pressed backward against the mast by the wind- hence, TAKEN ABACK, taken by surprise.

Usage examples for aback:

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To treat roughly or severely; to ill- use; to encroach or trespass upon; as, to violate an other's rights or property; to profane or treat irreverently; as, to violate a tomb or grave; to transgress, as the law; to disregard, as a treaty; to break, as a promise; to outrage or dishonor. ...