• Towards the back or rear; backwards.
  • In the rear; a distance behind.
  • By surprise; startled; dumbfounded. (see usage)
  • 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.



  • From Middle English abak, from Old English onbæc, equivalent to a- + back. Compare West Frisian tebek ("aback"), Swedish tillbaka .
  • From abacus.

Modern English dictionary

Explore and search massive catalog of over 900,000 word meanings.

Word of the Day

Get a curated memorable word every day.

Challenge yourself

Level up your vocabulary by setting personal goals.

And much more

Try out Vedaist now.