Also found in: Thesaurus, Medical, Encyclopedia.
to coil again.
re•coil(v. rɪˈkɔɪl; n. ˈriˌkɔɪl, rɪˈkɔɪl)
1. to start or shrink back, as in alarm, horror, or disgust.
2. to spring or fly back, as in consequence of force of impact or of a discharge of ammunition: The rifle recoiled with a powerful slam.
3. to spring or come back; rebound (usu. fol. by on or upon): plots recoiling upon the plotters.
4. 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.
5. the act or an instance of recoiling.
6. the distance through which a weapon moves backward after discharging.
[1175–1225; Middle English recoilen, reculen < Old French reculer=re- re- + -culer, v. derivative of cul rump]
syn: See wince.
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.