— recoilingly , adv.
v. /ri koyl"/ ; n. /ree"koyl', ri koyl"/ , 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.
5. an act of recoiling.
6. the distance through which a weapon moves backward after discharging.
[ 1175-1225; ME recoilen, reculen (v.) reculer, equiv. to re- RE- + -culer, v. deriv. of cul rump, buttocks; see CULET ]
Syn. 1. withdraw, quail, flinch, falter. See wince. 2. rebound.