May 04, 2017
recoil (verb)
\rih-KOYL\ Hear it!
What does it mean?
1 a : to fall back under pressure : retreat b : to shrink back2 : to spring back to or as if to a starting point
How do you use it?
"The Carrier looked him in the face, and recoiled a step as if he had been struck." (Charles Dickens, _The Cricket on the Hearth_)
Are you a word wiz?

Which one of these words do you think is a synonym of "recoil"?

Don't shy away from C. Use "flinch" to suggest a failure to endure pain or face something dangerous or frightening with determination. ("She faced her accusers without flinching.") Choose "recoil" to imply a brief, sudden action or movement away through shock, fear, or disgust. ("They recoiled at the suggestion of stealing.") Pick "shrink" to imply an instinctive recoil through sensitiveness or cowardice. ("They shrank from the unpleasant truth.") Try "wince" to refer to a slight involuntary physical reaction. ("He winced in pain."). Finally, choose "quail" to suggest cowering in fear. ("She quailed before the ghost.")
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