WordReference Random House Learner's Dictionary of American English © 2017
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. 
  1. the act or an instance of recoiling: [uncountable]very little recoil with this gun.[countable]a small recoil.

WordReference Random House Unabridged Dictionary of American English © 2017
re-coil  (rē koil),USA pronunciation v.t., v.i. 
  1. to coil again.
[1860–65;
re- + coil1]

re•coil  (v. ri koil;n. rēkoil′, ri koil),USA pronunciation v.i. 
  1. to draw back;
    start or shrink back, as in alarm, horror, or disgust.
  2. to spring or fly back, as in consequence of force of impact or the force of the discharge, as a firearm.
  3. to spring or come back;
    react (usually fol. by on or upon):Plots frequently recoil upon the plotters.
  4. Physics(of an atom, a nucleus, or a particle) to undergo a change in momentum as a result either of a collision with an atom, a nucleus, or a particle or of the emission of a particle.

n. 
  1. an act of recoiling.
  2. the distance through which a weapon moves backward after discharging.
re•coiling•ly, adv. 
  • Old French reculer, equivalent. to re- re- + -culer, verb, verbal derivative of cul rump, buttocks; see culet
  • Middle English recoilen, reculen (verb, verbal) 1175–1225
    • 1.See corresponding entry in Unabridged withdraw, quail, flinch, falter. See  wince. 
    • 2.See corresponding entry in Unabridged rebound.


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



'recoil' also found in these entries:
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