Etymology
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recoil (v.)

c. 1200, recoilen, transitive, "force back, drive back, beat back" (senses now archaic or obsolete); c. 1300, intransitive, "shrink back, retreat," from Old French reculer "to go back, give way, recede, retreat" (12c.), from Vulgar Latin *reculare, from Latin re- "back" (see re-) + culus "backside, bottom, fundament" (see tutu). The sense of "spring back" (as a firearm when discharged) is attested from 1520s. Related: Recoiled; recoiling.

recoil (n.)

c. 1300, "a retreat, a drawing back" (a sense now obsolete), from Old French recul "recoil, backward movement, retreat," from reculer (see recoil (v.)). Meaning "back-kick of a firearm or piece of ordnance when discharged" is from 1570s.

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Definitions of recoil
1
recoil (v.)
draw back, as with fear or pain;
Synonyms: flinch / squinch / funk / cringe / shrink / wince / quail
recoil (v.)
come back to the originator of an action with an undesired effect;
Synonyms: backfire / backlash
recoil (v.)
spring back; spring away from an impact;
Synonyms: bounce / resile / take a hop / spring / bound / rebound / reverberate / ricochet
recoil (v.)
spring back, as from a forceful thrust;
Synonyms: kick back / kick
2
recoil (n.)
the backward jerk of a gun when it is fired;
Synonyms: kick
recoil (n.)
a movement back from an impact;
From wordnet.princeton.edu