to catch someone off-balance

Idiom Definition

Idiom Definition - catch off-balance

"to catch someone off-balance"

to surprise someone, especially in a way that makes the person feel confused or uncertain


Related words and phrases:

Idiom Scenario 1

Idiom Definition - catch off-balance

Two colleagues are talking ...

Colleague 1:  I heard you were called on to lead the staff meeting yesterday.

Colleague 2:  I was completely caught off-balance. I wasn't sure how to proceed.

Colleague 1:  Not being given any time to prepare must have been unnerving.

Colleague 2:  Not to mention embarrassing as I stumbled through the agenda. I am still not sure why the boss did that.

Idiom Scenario 2

Idiom Definition - catch off-balance

Two students are talking ...

Student 1:  How did you do on Professor Smith's pop quiz this morning?

Student 2:  That was the first time he has ever given a pop quiz.

Student 1:  So it caught you a little off-balance?

Student 2:  I'll say. I was totally unprepared and only scored 54%.

Student 1:  Well, now we know pop quizzes can happen so you won't be surprised the next time.

Student 2:  I will be careful to keep current with my studies in that class.

to catch someone off-balance - Usage:


Usage Frequency Index:   23   click for frequency by country

to catch someone off-balance - Gerund Form:

Catching the letter carrier off-balance by giving her a Christmas bonus, the letter carrier just stood dumbfounded.

to catch someone off-balance - Examples:

1)  It just kind of caught me off-balance because I've never been called up before, but it's pretty exciting.

2)  The re-imagining caught me off-balance, crafting a unique, powerfully terrifying experience. 

3)  It kind of caught me off-balance, but I think after the surprise, I was quickly filled with excitement for ...

4)  ... decision to retire had caught him off-balance. I was surprised when Gwen told me her plans for retirement, ...

5)  It caught him off-balance, he wasn't a mind reader and when she straight up told him to ...

6)  He said finding out his niece was a heroin user caught him off-balance.

7)  It's incredible when life can completely surprise you and catch you off-balance.

8)  ... irregular expenses into your budget from the start means they won't catch you off-balance or drain your emergency fund. 

9)  ... legitimately keeps the audience guessing what lies ahead and is guaranteed to catch you off-balance.

10)  I wouldn't say he caught us off-balance, but he definitely stunned us a bit.

11)  They came out blazing, and they kind of caught us off-balance, had us on our heels right away.

12)  It kind of caught us off-balance. We were in shock I guess for about 30 seconds or so until we ...

13)  One day, a lightning storm caught them off-balance, forcing them to pitch their tent near Leven Point.

14)  ... not keep the conjoined twins any longer, the parent's plea caught them off-balance.

15)  The timing of Stearns' death caught them off-balance. We were all heartbroken.

16)  ... a very difficult and challenging thing to do, especially if it catches you off-balance.

17)  ... this probably won't make much difference the next time a cockroach catches you off-balance. But hopefully it'll help you remain calm while you wait for the exterminator ...

18)  ... avoid being dumped unceremoniously into the foaming water when a big wave catches you off-balance.

19)  We just wanted to speed up the tempo of the game and catch them off-balance and it seemed to work.

20)  This unexpected display of gratitude will catch them off-balance and brighten their spirits.