American English

Definition of recoil verb from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



    Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they recoil
    he / she / it recoils
    past simple recoiled
    -ing form recoiling
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  1. 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. 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. 3[intransitive] (of a gun) to move suddenly backward when you fire it
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: recoil

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