To be taken aback. (a) To be driven backward against the mast; — said of the sails, also of the ship when the sails are thus driven. (b) To be suddenly checked, baffled, or discomfited. Dickens.

(Ab"ack) n. An abacus. [Obs.] B. Jonson.

(Ab*ac"ti*nal) a. [L. ab + E. actinal.] (Zoöl.) Pertaining to the surface or end opposite to the mouth in a radiate animal; — opposed to actinal. "The aboral or abactinal area." L. Agassiz.

(Ab*ac"tion) n. Stealing cattle on a large scale. [Obs.]

(Ab*ac"tor) n. [L., fr. abigere to drive away; ab + agere to drive.] (Law) One who steals and drives away cattle or beasts by herds or droves. [Obs.]

(||A*bac"u*lus) n.; pl. Abaculi [L., dim. of abacus.] (Arch.) A small tile of glass, marble, or other substance, of various colors, used in making ornamental patterns in mosaic pavements. Fairholt.

(Ab"a*cus) n.; E. pl. Abacuses ; L. pl. Abaci [L. abacus, abax, Gr. 'a`bax]

1. A table or tray strewn with sand, anciently used for drawing, calculating, etc. [Obs.]

2. A calculating table or frame; an instrument for performing arithmetical calculations by balls sliding on wires, or counters in grooves, the lowest line representing units, the second line, tens, etc. It is still employed in China.

3. (Arch.) (a) The uppermost member or division of the capital of a column, immediately under the architrave. See Column. (b) A tablet, panel, or compartment in ornamented or mosaic work.

4. A board, tray, or table, divided into perforated compartments, for holding cups, bottles, or the like; a kind of cupboard, buffet, or sideboard.

Abacus harmonicus(Mus.), an ancient diagram showing the structure and disposition of the keys of an instrument. Crabb.

(Ab"a*da) n. [Pg., the female rhinoceros.] The rhinoceros. [Obs.] Purchas.

(A*bad"don) n. [Heb. abaddon destruction, abyss, fr. abad to be lost, to perish.]

1. The destroyer, or angel of the bottomless pit; — the same as Apollyon and Asmodeus.

2. Hell; the bottomless pit. [Poetic]

In all her gates, Abaddon rues
Thy bold attempt.

(A*baft") prep. [Pref. a- on + OE. baft, baften, biaften, AS. beæftan; be by + æftan behind. See After, Aft, By.] (Naut.) Behind; toward the stern from; as, abaft the wheelhouse.

(Ab"a*cist) n. [LL abacista, fr. abacus.] One who uses an abacus in casting accounts; a calculator.

(A*back") adv. [Pref. a- + back; AS. on bæc at, on, or toward the back. See Back.]

1. Toward the back or rear; backward. "Therewith aback she started." Chaucer.

2. Behind; in the rear. Knolles.

3. (Naut.) Backward against the mast; — said of the sails when pressed by the wind. Totten.

  By PanEris using Melati.

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