recoil[ri ko̵il′; also for n., esp. of weapons, rē′ko̵il′]
- To recoil is to spring back or back away.
- When you jump backwards in horror away from a dead body you have just spotted, this is an example of recoil.
- When a gun kicks back when fired, this is an example of recoil.
A woman recoils.
- to draw back, fall back, or stagger back; retreat
- to start or shrink back, as in fear, surprise, or disgust
- to fly back when released, as a spring, or kick back when fired, as a gun
- to return to or as to the starting point or source; react (on or upon)
Origin of recoilMiddle English recoilen ; from Old French reculer ; from re-, back + cul ; from Classical Latin culus, the anus, buttocks: see culet
- the act of recoiling
- the state of having recoiled; reaction
- the distance through which a gun, spring, etc. recoils
intransitive verbre·coiled, re·coil·ing, re·coils
- To spring back, as upon firing.
- To shrink back, as in fear or repugnance.
- To fall back; return: “Violence does, in truth, recoil upon the violent” (Arthur Conan Doyle).
- The backward action of a firearm upon firing.
- The act or state of recoiling; reaction.
Origin of recoilMiddle English recoilen, from Old French reculer : re-, re- + cul, buttocks (from Latin cūlus; see (s)keu- in Indo-European roots).
- A starting or falling back; a rebound; a shrinking.
- the recoil of nature, or of the blood
- The state or condition of having recoiled.
- (firearms) The amount of energy transmitted back to the shooter from a firearm which has fired. Recoil is a function of the weight of the weapon, the weight of the projectile, and the speed at which it leaves the muzzle.
(third-person singular simple present recoils, present participle recoiling, simple past and past participle recoiled)
- (intransitive, now rare) To retreat before an opponent. [from 14th c.]
- Evil on itself shall back recoil.
- De Quincey
- The solemnity of her demeanor made it impossible [...] that we should recoil into our ordinary spirits.
- To pull back, especially in disgust, horror or astonishment. [from 16th c.]
- He recoiled in disgust when he saw the mess.
From Old French reculer.