WordReference Random House Learner's Dictionary of American English © 2015
re•coil /v. rɪˈkɔɪl; n. ˈriˌkɔɪl, rɪˈkɔɪl/USA pronunciation v. 
    [no object]
  1. to jump or shrink back suddenly, as in alarm, horror, or disgust.
  2. to spring or fly back because of force of impact or because of a shooting of a bullet:The rifle recoiled.

n. 
  • the act or an instance of recoiling: [uncountable]very little recoil with this gun.[countable]a small recoil.


  • Collins Concise English Dictionary © HarperCollins Publishers::

    recoil vb /rɪˈkɔɪl/(intransitive)
    1. to jerk back, as from an impact or violent thrust
    2. (often followed by from) to draw back in fear, horror, or disgust
    3. followed by on or upon: to go wrong, esp so as to hurt the perpetrator
    4. (of a nucleus, atom, molecule, or elementary particle) to change momentum as a result of the emission of a photon or particle
    n /rɪˈkɔɪl; ˈriːkɔɪl/
    1. the backward movement of a gun when fired
    2. the distance moved
    3. the motion acquired by a particle as a result of its emission of a photon or other particle
    4. the act of recoiling
    Etymology: 13th Century: from Old French reculer, from re- + cul rump, from Latin cūlus

    reˈcoiler n



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