Pronunciation: (rē-koil'), [key]
to coil again.
—n.rē'koil", ri-koil'), [key]
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.
1. an act of recoiling.
2. the distance through which a weapon moves backward after discharging.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.