recoil

A recoil is a movement backwards, usually from some force or impact. The recoil of a gun is a backward movement caused by momentum. Your trip to the shooting range might make your mom recoil — from horror, not momentum.

Recoil has both a verb and a noun form, meaning any kind of rebound or spring backwards. It doesn’t even have to be from an actual force. You might recoil when you see a snake, or recoil at the thought of having to eat squid. In those cases it’s more like a cringe or a flinch from something that’s scary, disgusting, or painful. Eating squid might in fact be all of those things to you.

Definitions of recoil
  1. verb
    spring back; spring away from an impact
    synonyms: bounce, bound, rebound, resile, reverberate, ricochet, spring, take a hop
    see moresee less
    types:
    kick, kick back
    spring back, as from a forceful thrust
    bound off, skip
    bound off one point after another
    carom
    rebound after hitting
    type of:
    bound, jump, leap, spring
    move forward by leaps and bounds
  2. verb
    spring back, as from a forceful thrust
    synonyms: kick, kick back
    see moresee less
    type of:
    bounce, bound, rebound, resile, reverberate, ricochet, spring, take a hop
    spring back; spring away from an impact
  3. verb
    draw back, as with fear or pain
    synonyms: cringe, flinch, funk, quail, shrink, squinch, wince
    see moresee less
    types:
    retract, shrink back
    pull away from a source of disgust or fear
    type of:
    move
    move so as to change position, perform a nontranslational motion
  4. verb
    come back to the originator of an action with an undesired effect
  5. noun
    the backward jerk of a gun when it is fired
    synonyms: kick
    see moresee less
    type of:
    motion, movement
    a natural event that involves a change in the position or location of something
  6. noun
    a movement back from an impact
    synonyms: backlash, rebound, repercussion
    see moresee less
    types:
    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
Word Family