EXAMPLES FROM THE WEB FOR ABACK
This discovery knocked us all aback, and we were quite at a loss how to proceed.
Well, when you consider that, can you wonder I was set all aback?
It took her aback by its directness, and for a moment left her without an answer.
I certainly took him aback, and he almost dropped the glass.
Sarah did not answer for a minute, for the question took her aback; then she laughed.
To bagpipe the mizen is to lay it aback, by bringing the sheet to the mizen-shrouds.
When he tried to come nearer her she laughed and thrust him aback.
The midshipman went to sleep, and when he awoke he found the ship all aback.
“Throw it all aback,” he cut in as at last he caught my idea.
Loose and set the topsail and topgallant-sail, and throw them aback!
c.1200, from Old English on bæc "at or on the back;" see back (n.). Now surviving mainly in taken aback, originally a nautical expression in reference to a vessel's square sails when a sudden change of wind flattens them back against the masts and stops the forward motion of the ship (1754). The figurative sense is first recorded 1840.