Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English homepage

Topic: WEAPONS

Date: 1100-1200
Language: Old French
Origin: reculer, from cul 'ass'

recoil

verb
     
re‧coil [intransitive]
1 to move back suddenly and quickly from something you do not like or are afraid of
recoil from/at
She recoiled from his touch as if she had been slapped.
2 to feel such a strong dislike of a particular situation that you want to avoid it
recoil from/at
He recoils from everything in life that demands hard work.
We recoil in horror from the thought of subjecting someone to extreme pain.
3PMW if a gun recoils, it moves backwards very quickly after it has been fired
recoil noun [singular, uncountable]
The recoil of the gun sent him flying backwards.
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