- 1[intransitive] to move your body quickly away from someone or something because you find them or it frightening or unpleasant synonym flinch recoil (from somebody/something) She recoiled from his touch. recoil (at something) He recoiled in horror at the sight of the corpse.
- 2[intransitive] recoil (from something/from doing something) recoil (at something) to react to an idea or a situation with strong dislike or fear synonym shrink She recoiled from the idea of betraying her own brother.
- 3[intransitive] (of a gun) to move suddenly backward when you fire it
NAmE//rɪˈkɔɪl//Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they recoil
he / she / it recoils
past simple recoiled
-ing form recoiling