When many people react against something in the same way, you can call it a backlash. A backlash against government policies can result in mass protests.

When people get angry enough about something — or just tired of hearing about it — the result can be a backlash. An influx of refugees to a city can cause a backlash against immigration, and the popularity of a particular style of music might eventually cause a backlash against it. A true backlash involves many people acting together. The original, 1815 meaning of backlash was "recoil between parts of a machine." It wasn't until the 1950's that the figurative meaning came into use.

Definitions of backlash
  1. noun
    a movement back from an impact
    synonyms: rebound, recoil, repercussion
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    bounce, bouncing
    rebounding from an impact (or series of impacts)
    resilience, resiliency
    an occurrence of rebounding or springing back
    carom, ricochet
    a glancing rebound
    type of:
    motion, movement
    a natural event that involves a change in the position or location of something
  2. noun
    an adverse reaction to some political or social occurrence
    “there was a backlash of intolerance”
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    white backlash, whitelash
    backlash by white racists against black civil rights advances
    type of:
    doing something in opposition to another way of doing it that you don't like
  3. verb
    come back to the originator of an action with an undesired effect
Word Family