Dictionary > Recoil


1. A starting or falling back; a rebound; a shrinking; as, the recoil of nature, or of the blood.
2. The state or condition of having recoiled. The recoil from formalism is skepticism. (F. W. Robertson)
3. Specifically, the reaction or rebounding of a firearm when discharged. Recoil dynamometer, an instrument for measuring the force of the recoil of a firearm. Recoil escapement See the note under Escapement.
1. To start, roll, bound, spring, or fall back; to take a reverse motion; to be driven or forced backward; to return. Evil on itself shall back recoil. (milton) The solemnity of her demeanor made it impossible . . . That we should recoil into our ordinary spirits. (De Quincey)
2. To draw back, as from anything repugnant, distressing, alarming, or the like; to shrink.
3. To turn or go back; to withdraw one’s self; to retire. To your bowers recoil.
Origin: OE. Recoilen, F. Reculer, fr. L. Pref. Re- re- – culus the fundament. The English word was perhaps influenced in form by accoil.

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