Associations to the word «Aback»


ABACK, adverb. (archaic) Towards the back or rear; backwards. [First attested prior to 1150.]
ABACK, adverb. (archaic) In the rear; a distance behind. [First attested prior to 1150.]
ABACK, adverb. By surprise; startled; dumbfounded.
ABACK, adverb. (nautical) Backward against the mast; said of the sails when pressed by the wind from the "wrong" (forward) side, or of a ship when its sails are set that way. [First attested in the late 17th century.]
ABACK, noun. (obsolete) An abacus.

Dictionary definition

ABACK, adverb. Having the wind against the forward side of the sails; "the ship came up into the wind with all yards aback".
ABACK, adverb. By surprise; "taken aback by the caustic remarks".

Wise words

Words are always getting conventionalized to some secondary meaning. It is one of the works of poetry to take the truants in custody and bring them back to their right senses.
William Butler Yeats