• WordNet 3.6
    • v recoil spring back, as from a forceful thrust "The gun kicked back into my shoulder"
    • v recoil spring back; spring away from an impact "The rubber ball bounced","These particles do not resile but they unite after they collide"
    • v recoil draw back, as with fear or pain "she flinched when they showed the slaughtering of the calf"
    • v recoil come back to the originator of an action with an undesired effect "Your comments may backfire and cause you a lot of trouble"
    • n recoil a movement back from an impact
    • n recoil the backward jerk of a gun when it is fired
    • ***
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • Recoil A starting or falling back; a rebound; a shrinking; as, the recoil of nature, or of the blood.
    • Recoil Specifically, the reaction or rebounding of a firearm when discharged.
    • Recoil The state or condition of having recoiled. "The recoil from formalism is skepticism."
    • Recoil To draw back, as from anything repugnant, distressing, alarming, or the like; to shrink.
    • v. t Recoil To draw or go back.
    • Recoil 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 .""The solemnity of her demeanor made it impossible . . . that we should recoil into our ordinary spirits."
    • Recoil To turn or go back; to withdraw one's self; to retire. "To your bowers recoil ."
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • recoil To draw back; go back; retreat; take a sudden backward motion after an advance.
    • recoil To start or draw back, as from anything repulsive, distressing, alarming, or the like; shrink.
    • recoil To fall, rush, start, bound, or roll back, as in consequence of resistance which cannot be overcome by the force impressed; return after a certain strain or impetus: literally or figuratively.
    • recoil To fall off; degenerate.
    • recoil To drive back.
    • n recoil A drawing back; retreat.
    • n recoil A backward movement; a rebound: literally or figuratively.
    • n recoil Specifically, the rebound or resilience of a firearm or a piece of ordnance when discharged.
    • recoil To coil again.
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • v.t Recoil rē-koil′ to start back: to rebound: to return: to shrink from
    • n Recoil a starting or springing back: rebound: an escapement in which after each beat the escape-wheel recoils slightly
    • ***


  • Ralph Waldo Emerson
    “Curses always recoil on the head of him who imprecates them. If you put a chain around the neck of a slave, the other end fastens itself around your own.”
  • Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
    “Violence does, in truth, recoil upon the violent, and the schemer falls into the pit which he digs for another.”


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
OE. recoilen, F. reculer, fr. L. pref. re-, re- + culus, the fundament. The English word was perhaps influenced in form by accoil,


In literature:

As I advanced in resolution, the Thing seemed to recoil.
"The Thing from the Lake" by Eleanor M. Ingram
His heavy figure seemed to hunch itself up as in the recoil from a blow.
"The History of Sir Richard Calmady" by Lucas Malet
Not while you fight for your king with a cruelty from which your king would recoil.
"The Hour and the Man" by Harriet Martineau
He recoiled from the future, and at the moment of recoil came this offer of release.
"Deerbrook" by Harriet Martineau
They recoiled from this toil and this double fire.
"From Fort Henry to Corinth" by Manning Ferguson Force
And now there was exaggerated recoil.
"Robert Elsmere" by Mrs. Humphry Ward
We knew that the recoil would strike us down.
"Harper's New Monthly Magazine, Vol. 3, July, 1851" by Various
It did not recoil, as I have often seen it do upon the beach.
"The Boy Tar" by Mayne Reid
She followed him into the outer room, struggling against her sense of his recoil.
"The Creators" by May Sinclair
To drop all the pauls into their sockets, to prevent the capstan from recoiling during any pause of heaving.
"The Sailor's Word-Book" by William Henry Smyth

In poetry:

And shades recoil and recover
And fade away as they fall
In the space between the trenches.
And the watchers see it all.
"A Vision" by Patrick MacGill
Yet the sin is on us both —
Time to dance is not to woo —
Wooer light makes fickle troth —
Scorn of me recoils on you !
"The Lady's Yes." by Elizabeth Barrett Browning
That all our voices made; and back we shrank
From them as from the starting dead;
Recoiling, shrieked, but knew not why we shrieked;
And cried, but knew not what we said.
"Stronger Than Death" by Elizabeth Stuart Phelps Ward
But O how his heart at her aspect recoils
When he sees how the rose has decay'd on her cheek!
"O God! is it thus I'm repaid for my toils,"
Was all, that affection had accents to speak.
"The Baya: Or The Indian Bird" by William Hayley
Lighten through all your regions, till we find
The causes why we are grown blind,
That when we should your glories comprehend
Our sight recoils, and turneth back again,
And doth, as 'twere in vain,
Itself to you extend.
"To Her Hair" by Lord Edward Herbert of Cherbury
Ever restless, ever toiling,
Fretting fiercely on its narrow bounds,
Still filling heaven and earth with mournful sounds,
Old ocean, sullen from its rocks recoiling,
Rearing wild waves foam-crested to the sky,
Lashes again the beaches angrily:
"Sea Margins" by Walter Richard Cassels

In news:

Loventhal, Leverage toil on ' Recoil '.
Producer Charlie Loventhal and Leverage have partnered on a feature film adaptation of Jim Thompson's 1953 novel " Recoil ".
Rich nation recoils at influx of impoverished neighbors.
That doesn't even qualify as a 9mm +P, and between the tight gun and the stiff recoil spring, the American Eagle 115s barely cycled the Stinger 's slide.
Cubs star Sammy Sosa recoils as a fast ball from Pittsburgh's Salomon Torres shatters his helmet earlier this season.
Cost aside, the mild report and light recoil of a.22 handgun is an advantage.
Gas leak Friday recoiled firefighters.
Why do we need to have that emotional and physical recoil when things go horribly wrong.
Voters recoil from negative campaigning.
Local Officials Recoil, Saying They Were Never Informed Of Plans.
I also suspect shooters are finding it easier and faster to develop skills without a lot of muzzle blast and recoil.
Armenians recoiled at what happened next: The killer got an apartment and a promotion.
Should I recoil from rebates .
Even when their careers are in full swing, some musicians need to recoil.
It has the same recoil as ten 30.06's fired at the same time.

In science:

The recoil from a parton shower (including photon emission) needs to be absorbed by particles in the event.
Generic User Process Interface for Event Generators
The showering generator would preserve the invariant masses of these “particles” when absorbing the recoil of the parton shower.
Generic User Process Interface for Event Generators
Concept of the Multiple-Compton technique. (b) Difference between calculated and measured electron recoil energy inEGS4 MC.
Gamma-ray Polarimetry
The muonium uncertainty is due to the calculation of the recoil corrections of the order of α(Z α)2m/M [42,46] and (Z α)3m/M , which are related to the third-order contributions for positronium since m = M .
Simple Atoms, Quantum Electrodynamics and Fundamental Constants
The second value (αC s ) on the list of the most precise results for the fine structure constant is a result from recoil spectroscopy .
Simple Atoms, Quantum Electrodynamics and Fundamental Constants