Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “recoil”

recoil

verb [I] uk   /rɪˈkɔɪl/ us  
to move back because of fear or disgust (= dislike or disapproval): He leaned forward to kiss her and she recoiled in horror. I recoiled from the smell and the filth.Making short, sudden movements to refuse to accept an idea or principle, feeling strong dislike or disapproval: She wondered how it would be to touch him and recoiled at the thought.Reacting and responding

recoil

noun [U] uk   /ˈriː.kɔɪl/ us  
the sudden backward movement that a gun makes when it is firedGuns
(Definition of recoil from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
What is the pronunciation of recoil?
Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

Definitions of “recoil” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day

innovate

to introduce changes and new ideas

Word of the Day

Blog

Read our blog about how the English language behaves.

Learn More

New Words

Find words and meanings that have just started to be used in English, and let us know what you think of them.

Learn More