Idiom:  taken aback

Picture of woman wearing a sleeveless dress with a large tattoo covering her harm to illustrate the idiom, "taken aback." Example given: My mother was taken aback by my girlfriend's tattoos.


Idiom:  taken aback (past participle of take aback)

  • to be surprised, shocked or confused about something

Example sentences

— I was taken aback when your mother asked if I’m having trouble getting pregnant.

— We were all taken aback when my friend’s wife told us to all go home before dessert was served.

— My friend was taken aback when I asked him if he smokes weed.

— I was really taken aback at my interview when they asked if I was married and had kids. I thought it's illegal to ask those questions.

— There was obviously some miscommunication because I could see by the reaction that the client was taken aback

— Mom, don't be taken aback by my boyfriend's tattoos. He's a great guy.

— I missed the game and was taken aback when I saw the final score. It's not often that my team loses by more than 20 points.

— My Japanese friend was taken aback at how we interact with our professor.

— Everything was going well until I revealed my prices and the prospect was taken aback. I just thought, "Next. I'm worth every penny for my services."

— We were taken aback when we saw the number of daily COVID-19 infections and decided to postpone our trip.

— The singer's fans were taken aback at the news of his sudden death.

— I was really taken aback by my mother-in-law's harsh criticism of the name we chose for our first child.


  • at a loss
  • left open-mouthed
  • taken by surprise
  • caught off guard

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