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Recoil   /rikˈɔɪl/   Listen
Recoil

noun
1.
The backward jerk of a gun when it is fired.  Synonym: kick.
2.
A movement back from an impact.  Synonyms: backlash, rebound, repercussion.






WordNet 3.0 © 2010 Princeton University








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"Recoil" Quotes from Famous Books



... the part of a person naturally or habitually reserved will often be followed by a phase of recoil. At breakfast next morning their overnight talk seemed to both Sir Richmond and Dr. Martineau like something each had dreamt about the other, a quite impossible excess of intimacy. They discussed the weather, which seemed to be settling down to the utmost serenity ...
— The Secret Places of the Heart • H. G. Wells

... spent themselves. In one of these pauses Prosper was pretty sure he heard a step on the stairs. Not at all surprised, for it was just such a night as he would have chosen, he listened painfully; but the noise drowned all. Came another moment of recoil, he heard it again, nearer. He got out of bed, went to the door, opened it silently, and listened. There were certainly movements in the house, feet coming up the stairs; he thought to catch hoarse whisperings, and once the clang of metal. There was no time to lose, He shut, bolted, and locked the ...
— The Forest Lovers • Maurice Hewlett

... say so?" continued Fouquet, still laughing; "and I would lay a wager there would be people found wicked enough to laugh at it." This sally disconcerted the monarch. Fouquet was skillful enough, or fortunate enough, to make Louis XIV. recoil before the appearance of the deed he meditated. M. d'Artagnan, when he appeared, received an order to desire a musketeer ...
— The Man in the Iron Mask • Alexandre Dumas, Pere

... herself from her husband, who had remained holding her, as one might hold a delicate child who has been causing anxiety. The gentleness and affection of the poor fellow had evidently not touched her—she seemed almost to recoil from it. ...
— Hauntings • Vernon Lee

... adventures, as well as to learn from them the particulars of the campaign. It may be imagined he was received with great glee by men to whom the late uniformity of their military life had rendered any change of society an interesting novelty. Allan M'Aulay alone seemed to recoil from his former acquaintance, although, when challenged by his brother, he could render no other reason than a reluctance to be familiar with one who had been so lately in the company of Argyle, and other enemies. Major Dalgetty ...
— A Legend of Montrose • Sir Walter Scott

... is almost in as desperate a situation. The ton of society and that of comedians may have a reciprocal influence, and the revolution having tended to degrade the performance of the latter, the consequences may recoil on the former. But here I must stop.—I shall only add that it is not to the revolution that the decline of the art, either in tragedy or comedy, is to be imputed. It is, I understand, owing to intrigue, which has, for a long time past, introduced pitiful performers on the stage ...
— Paris As It Was and As It Is • Francis W. Blagdon

... and he is happy to have an opportunity of paying a tribute to female purity and female truth. That there are hearts so disinterested as to lose the considerations of self, in advancing the happiness of those they love; that there are minds so pure as to recoil with disgust from the admission of deception, indelicacy, or management, he knows; for he has seen it from long and close examination. He regrets that the very artlessness of those who are most pure in the one sex, subjects them to ...
— Precaution • James Fenimore Cooper

... to have obtained a Fellowship, in which capacity he would have been able to exercise a greater freedom in his choice of intellectual pursuits. The bishop seems to have thought, and not without reason, that Hamilton's genius would rather recoil from much of the routine work of an astronomical establishment. Now that Hamilton's whole life is before us, it is easy to see that the bishop was entirely wrong. It is quite true that Hamilton never ...
— Great Astronomers • R. S. Ball

... withheld his fire; Burr aimed with murderous intent, and Hamilton fell mortally wounded. The shot from Burr's pistol long reverberated. It woke public conscience to the horror and uselessness of dueling, and left Burr an outlaw from respectable society, stunned by the recoil, and under indictment for murder. Only in the South and West did men treat the incident lightly as an affair ...
— Jefferson and his Colleagues - A Chronicle of the Virginia Dynasty, Volume 15 In The - Chronicles Of America Series • Allen Johnson

... good and virtuous nature may recoil/In an imperial charge] A good mind may recede from goodness in the execution of ...
— Notes to Shakespeare, Volume III: The Tragedies • Samuel Johnson

... the recoil of the guns, and then she swung half-round and a broadside was poured into the Frenchman from the ...
— By Conduct and Courage • G. A. Henty

... instance an obvious way in which it will betray them: beings that are intensely self-conscious and aware of their selves, will also instinctively feel that their universe is. What active principle animates the world, they will ask. A great blind force? It is possible. But they will recoil from admitting any such possibility. A self-aware purposeful force then? That is better! (More simian.) "A blind force can't have been the creator of all. It's unthinkable." Any theory /their/ brains find ...
— This Simian World • Clarence Day Jr.

... eighteenth century found all Europe in this stage. Then came a stir in the heart of man: for Nature would not let him die altogether. First came recoil, complaint, reproach, mockery. Voltaire's light, piercing, taunting laugh—with a screaming wail inside it, if one can hear well—rang over Europe. "Aha, you are found out! Up, toad, in your true shape!" Then came wild, shallow theories, ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 16, No. 96, October 1865 • Various

... been entirely harmonious with its origin. What scenes of horror, what refinements of iniquity, do the annals of monarchies present! If we should paint human nature with a baseness of heart, an hypocrisy, from which all must recoil and humanity disavow, it would be the portraiture of ...
— The Writings Of Thomas Paine, Complete - With Index to Volumes I - IV • Thomas Paine

... proceedings, she kept her eye fixed upon the doctor's weak point. When he called the family to prayers, she would whistle and sing and yell to drown his voice, would strike him with her fist, and try to kick him. But her hand or foot would always recoil when within an inch or two of his body; thus giving the idea that there was a sort of invisible coat of mail, of heavenly temper, and proof against the assaults of the Devil, around his sacred person! After a while, Dr. Mather concluded to prepare an account of ...
— Salem Witchcraft, Volumes I and II • Charles Upham

... A deep calm Came over me, and to the inward eye Vivid perception. Set against each other, I saw weigh'd out the things of time and sense, And of eternity;—and oh! how light Look'd in that truthful hour the earthly scale! And oh! what strength, when from the penal doom Nature recoil'd, in His remember'd words: "I am the Resurrection and ...
— Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, Volume 56, Number 350, December 1844 • Various

... Rebas; and opposite to them at the lower end are the Symplegades, two rocks which rise into abrupt peaks, and which in former times were accustomed to dash against one another with a fearful crash, and then rebounding with a sharp spring, to recoil once more against the object already struck. Even a bird could by no speed of its wings pass between these rocks as they pass and meet again without ...
— The Roman History of Ammianus Marcellinus • Ammianus Marcellinus

... saw the home of the Widow Jukniene they could not but recoil, even so, in all their journey they had seen nothing so bad as this. Poni Aniele had a four-room flat in one of that wilderness of two-story frame tenements that lie "back of the yards." There were four such flats in each building, and each of the four was a "boardinghouse" for the occupancy ...
— The Jungle • Upton Sinclair

... fascinated me, and I stood for some time watching it. Its three gunners, enormous helmeted men, evidently loved it, and touched it with a swift but tender touch in every movement. When it was fired it ran up an inclined plane to take off the recoil, rushing up and then turning and rattling down again upon the gunners who were used to its ways. The first time it did it, I was standing behind it, and I don't know which moved quickest—the gun ...
— A Visit to Three Fronts • Arthur Conan Doyle

... to show you those pistols," said Musard. "They carry as true as a rifle up to fifty yards. Their only drawback is that they are a bit clumsy, and have a heavy recoil." ...
— The Hand in the Dark • Arthur J. Rees

... hoisted there by machinery first established upon the rock; of the blasting for emplacement; of the accidents after which it was finally emplaced; of the ingenious thought which has allowed for the chance of recoil or of displacement; you have perhaps a month's journeying from point to point of this sort over a matter ...
— The Story of the Great War, Volume VI (of VIII) - History of the European War from Official Sources • Various

... opportunity to try to get back at Fred Fenton. He had played several tricks on the other, and his chosen friends, who also came under the condemnation of Buck; but as a rule the vicious leader of the bad set had had these things recoil on his own head. ...
— Fred Fenton Marathon Runner - The Great Race at Riverport School • Allen Chapman

... equal suffrage is coming far more swiftly than most of us suspect. Educated, public-spirited women will soon refuse to be subjected to such humiliating conditions. Educated men will recoil in their turn from the sheer unreason of the position that the opinions and wishes of their wives and mothers are to be consulted upon every other question except the laws and government under which they and their husbands and ...
— The History of Woman Suffrage, Volume V • Ida Husted Harper

... detestation, from such low and nauseous profanation. I have only condescended to mention the composition, and the last anecdote, to show how much the world is deluded, by the received opinion that the french are become a new race of exemplary devotees. The recoil from atheism to enthusiasm, is not unusual, but the french in general have not, as yet, experienced this change. That they are susceptible of extraordinary transitions, their history and revolution have sufficiently manifested. In the Journal de Paris, written in the reigns of Charles VI and ...
— The Stranger in France • John Carr

... passed by, most of which time I spent lying down to rest and get rid of a headache caused by the continual, rapid firing and the roar of the gale, or both; also in rubbing my shoulder with ointment, for it was sore from the recoil of the guns. Then Scroope appeared, as, being unable to find my way about the long passages of that great old castle, I had asked him to do, and we descended together ...
— The Ivory Child • H. Rider Haggard

... two laws of gunnery which must be kept in sight in comparing the results of such trials:—1st, that the shape and material of two missiles being the same, the heavier will range the farther, because in proportion to its momentum it meets less resistance from the atmosphere; 2d, that the less the recoil of the gun, the greater will be the initial velocity of the ball, since the motion lost in recoil is taken from the velocity of the ball. Of course, then, the larger the bore of the rifle, the greater will be its range, supposing always the best ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 4, No. 24, Oct. 1859 • Various

... strains arising from firing, the arm is fitted with what is known as the "differential recoil." Above the breach is an air recuperator and a piston, while there is no hydraulic brake such as is generally used. The compressor is kept under compression while the car is travelling with the gun out of ...
— Aeroplanes and Dirigibles of War • Frederick A. Talbot

... temptation to which he yielded, we ought to remember how much he may have resisted: I invite them to apply this rule to myself; they can have no idea of the feeling with which I {264} contemplate all attempts to repress freedom of inquiry, nor of the loathing with which I recoil from the proposal to be art and part. They have asked me to give a public opinion upon a certain point. It is true that they have had the kindness to tender both the opinion they wish me to form, and the shape in which they would have it appear: I will ...
— A Budget of Paradoxes, Volume II (of II) • Augustus de Morgan

... Wait till I tell you about it. This 'envelope' or Shadow Self stood a few feet away from the sleeper. It was invisible, of course, to the eye. It was only located by striking the air and watching for the corresponding portion of the sleeper's body to recoil. By pricking a certain part of the Shadow Self with a pin, the cheek of the patient could be made to bleed. It was at that spot that the camera was focussed for fifteen minutes! The ...
— The Return of Peter Grimm - Novelised From the Play • David Belasco

... genuine absorption in the story she was telling there flitted, bat-like, a distaste far being known so well as all that! There was something indiscreet and belittling in it, she thought, with an inward fastidious recoil. But this had gone, entirely, in a moment, and she was rushing on, "And, Neale, what do you think? She has worked on him, and he has worked on himself till he's got himself in a morbid state. He thinks perhaps he ought to leave Ashley that he loves so much and go down to ...
— The Brimming Cup • Dorothy Canfield Fisher

... peculiarities, that my empire over him was established on a basis too firm to be shaken, whilst my power and unbounded influence convinced my enemies, that, so long as the present monarch sat upon the throne of France, their attempts at diminishing my credit and influence would only recoil upon themselves. Louis XV generally supped in my apartments every evening, unless indeed, by way of change, I went to sup with him. Our guests were of course of the first order, but yet not of the most exemplary morals. These persons had tact, and saw that, ...
— "Written by Herself" • Baron Etienne Leon Lamothe-Langon

... I have named the judgments and opinions of perturbations, their meaning is, not that merely the perturbations consist in them, but that the effects likewise of these perturbations do so; as grief occasions a kind of painful pricking, and fear engenders a recoil or sudden abandonment of the mind, joy gives rise to a profuse mirth, while lust is the parent of an unbridled habit of coveting. But that imagination, which I have included in all the above definitions, they would have ...
— Cicero's Tusculan Disputations - Also, Treatises On The Nature Of The Gods, And On The Commonwealth • Marcus Tullius Cicero

... band: thus what was at first no more than a number, becomes thenceforth a title and distinction of honour. In arraying their army, they divide the whole into distinct battalions formed sharp in front. To recoil in battle, provided you return again to the attack, passes with them rather for policy than fear. Even when the combat is no more than doubtful, they bear away the bodies of their slain. The most glaring disgrace ...
— Tacitus on Germany • Tacitus

... frequent intervals commanding the zone over which infantry was to advance and by skilful crossfire kept that terrain free from every living thing. The Germans preferred a machine gun, water cooled and of the barrel-recoil type. The English used a Vickers-Maxim and a Lewis gun, the latter the invention of an officer in the American army. The French preferred the Hotchkiss and the Saint-Etienne. The Americans standardized the Browning light and heavy machine guns, and these ...
— History of the World War - An Authentic Narrative of the World's Greatest War • Francis A. March and Richard J. Beamish

... "Try it you, then, Seidlitz; you saved us at Zorndorf!" Seidlitz, though it is an impossible problem to storm batteries with horse, does charge in for the Russian flank, in spite of its covering battery: but the torrents of grape-shot are insufferable; the Seidlitz people, torn in gaps, recoil, whirl round, and do not rank again till beyond the Lakes of Kunersdorf. Seidlitz himself has got wounded, and has had to ...
— History of Friedrich II. of Prussia, Vol. XIX. (of XXI.) • Thomas Carlyle

... although spiritual in its source, it yearned for psycho-physical unity, and was therefore always slightly discordant. Rousseau was the first exponent of this romantic nature cult and sentimental love of woman. He represents the sharp recoil from the frivolity of the ancien regime, and the beginning of the third stage of love. His Nouvelle Heloise (1759) was probably the first work in which sentimental love found expression. In Goethe's Werther ...
— The Evolution of Love • Emil Lucka

... cottage Gwendolen was not roused to show even a languid interest. She thought that she had done as much as could be expected of her this morning, and indeed felt at an heroic pitch in keeping to herself the struggle that was going on within her. The recoil of her mind from the only definite prospect allowed her, was stronger than even she had imagined beforehand. The idea of presenting herself before Mrs. Mompert in the first instance, to be approved or disapproved, came as pressure on an already painful bruise; even as a governess, it appeared ...
— Daniel Deronda • George Eliot

... that almost instantaneously with the roar and recoil of the huge gun the shell burst beside the sinking submarine. The explosion was terrific; the whole hull of the undersea boat heaved up, exposing its length for a few seconds. Then the sea-shark sank, going down like ...
— Navy Boys Behind the Big Guns - Sinking the German U-Boats • Halsey Davidson

... was feebly dawning behind them, when the dark hull of a ship, rapidly enlarging, seemed to rise out, broad and distinct, from the thin mist towards the west. The loud and incessant moan of the waves, the dash and recoil of their huge tops breaking against the sides of the vessel, with voices from on board, were distinctly heard, and ...
— Traditions of Lancashire, Volume 2 (of 2) • John Roby

... the ball, or one ounce of powder, with which it carries with great nicety and terrific effect, owing to its great weight of metal (twenty-one pounds); but it is a small piece of artillery which tries the shoulder very severely in the recoil. ...
— Eight Years' Wandering in Ceylon • Samuel White Baker

... in the mean time become self-possessed again, and again raised his gun to fire. Just as he pulled the trigger, however, his foot slipped, and with an exclamation of horror, Walter saw him carried rapidly toward the rift in the ice, and suddenly disappear. With the recoil of the gun the hunter had lost his balance on the slippery ice, and at the same moment that his shot struck the chamois, he was ...
— Harper's Young People, December 2, 1879 - An Illustrated Weekly • Various

... barbed wire, leaden slugs, and the legs and broken parts of iron pots. An officer of the W.A.F.F.'s, in a fight in the bush in South Nigeria, had one of these things fired at him from a distance of fifteen feet. He told me all that saved him was that when the native pulled the trigger the recoil of the gun "kicked" the muzzle two feet in the air and the native ten feet into the bush. I bought a Tower rifle at the trade price, a pound, and brought it home. But although my friends have offered to back ...
— The Congo and Coasts of Africa • Richard Harding Davis

... Italy a great power has justly put strength and life before those old traditions of beauty, which made her not only the 'woman country' of Europe, but a sort of Odalisque trading upon her charms, rather than the nursing mother of a noble and independent nation. That in her recoil from that somewhat degrading position, she may here and there have proved too regardless of the claims of antiquity, we need not attempt to deny; the new spring of life in her is too genuine and great to keep her entirely free from this evident danger. But it is strange that ...
— Reviews • Oscar Wilde

... received—no more than a cheer of encouragement from his immediate friends. As he made his points the applause grew. When he finished one half of the audience burst into a storm of cheers; the other was thunderstruck by the sacrilegious recoil of the Bishop's weapon upon his own head: a lady fainted, and had to be carried out. As soon as calm was restored Hooker leapt to his feet, though he hated public speaking yet more than his friend, and drove home the main scientific arguments with his own experience ...
— Thomas Henry Huxley - A Character Sketch • Leonard Huxley

... of Scripture, were cut to pieces, pulled apart, and explained, as though they were tricks of legerdemain. Julia was powerfully impressed, not by the declamations of Hankins, for she had sensibility enough to recoil from his vivisection of Scripture, though she had been all her life accustomed to hear it from other than Millerites, but she was profoundly affected by the excitement about her. Her father, attracted in part by the promise that there should be no marrying ...
— The End Of The World - A Love Story • Edward Eggleston

... this world might be, and bate not a jot of his self admiration! Men who salute a neighbour as a man of the world, paying him the greatest compliment they know in acknowledging him of their kind, recoil with a sort of fear from the man alien to their thoughts, and impracticable for their purposes. They say "He is beyond me," and despise him. So is there a great world beyond them with which they hold a frightful relationship—that of unrecognized, unattempted duty! ...
— Warlock o' Glenwarlock • George MacDonald

... placed just north of the church, had opened; the cavalry in the meadow could see them—see the whirl of smoke, the cannoneers moving with quick precision amidst obscurity—the flash, the recoil as gun after gun jumped back, ...
— Special Messenger • Robert W. Chambers

... the point of view of young men than of the girls. Even a slight exhilaration from alcohol relaxes the moral sense and throws a sentimental or adventurous glamor over an aspect of life from which a decent young man would ordinarily recoil, and its continued use stimulates the senses at the very moment when the intellectual and moral inhibitions are lessened. May we not conclude that both chastity and self-restraint are more firmly established in the modern city than we realize, when the white slave traders find it necessary ...
— A New Conscience And An Ancient Evil • Jane Addams

... pleading with her, urging her, even entreating her. Yet still she resisted, standing near him indeed, but with a desperate reluctance at her heart, a shrinking unutterable from the bare thought of any closer proximity to him that was as the instinctive recoil of ...
— The Way of an Eagle • Ethel M. Dell

... resumed the doctor, with the same measured utterance. "You recoil from this arrangement. Do you expect me to convince you? You know very well that I have never held the Mormon view of women. Absorbed in the most arduous studies, I have left the slatterns whom they call my wives to scratch and quarrel among themselves; of me, they have had nothing but my ...
— The Works of Robert Louis Stevenson - Swanston Edition Vol. 5 (of 25) • Robert Louis Stevenson

... before him so suddenly that Fred started back involuntarily. Then, angry with himself at the recoil, his lips curled scornfully, and he surveyed the other lad in the ...
— Frank Merriwell's Races • Burt L. Standish

... recoil? What would the surf do with them? The surf carried them back. A few minutes later the Matutina was free of the breakers. The Ortach faded from their view, as the Caskets had done. It was their second victory. For the second time the hooker had verged on ...
— The Man Who Laughs • Victor Hugo

... The air was so packed full of sound that it seemed as if it could not possibly hold one sound more. It was like the booming of a thousand great guns at the same time; the shock, the recoil, and the rush of air across the entrance to the tank was as if artillery practice on an immense scale were going on. There was a screaming sound as if shells were hurtling through space. Now the pitch blackness of the night was a solid mass; then it was red and livid like a recent bruise; ...
— In the Musgrave Ranges • Jim Bushman

... words he stepped back towards the lower end of the cell. Wyat instantly sprang after him, but before he could reach him a flash of fire caused him to recoil, and to his horror and amazement, he beheld the rock open, and yield a passage to ...
— Windsor Castle • William Harrison Ainsworth

... flimsy materials which are fit only for perorations. This fault is one which no subsequent care or industry can correct. The more strictly Mr. Gladstone reasons on his premises, the more absurd are the conclusions which he brings out; and, when at last his good sense and good nature recoil from the horrible practical inferences to which this theory leads, he is reduced sometimes to take refuge in arguments inconsistent with his fundamental doctrines, and sometimes to escape from the legitimate ...
— Famous Reviews • Editor: R. Brimley Johnson

... hit the breastplate of Menelaus's corslet, but the arrow glanced from off it. As black beans or pulse come pattering down on to a threshing-floor from the broad winnowing-shovel, blown by shrill winds and shaken by the shovel—even so did the arrow glance off and recoil from the shield of Menelaus, who in his turn wounded the hand with which Helenus carried his bow; the spear went right through his hand and stuck in the bow itself, so that to his life he retreated under cover of ...
— The Iliad • Homer

... forward against the recoil, mi amo,' said the old gunner, shakily. 'Dig your fingers into the ...
— A Set of Six • Joseph Conrad

... not much more than half a regiment. The murk up here on this semi-height was thick to choking; the odour and taste of the battle poisoned brass on the tongue, the colour that of a sand storm, the heat like that of a battleship in action, and all the place shook from the thunder and recoil of the tiers of great guns beyond, untaken, not to be taken. A regiment rushed out of the rolling smoke, by the half regiment. "Mississippi! Mississippi!—Well, even Mississippi isn't going to do the impossible!" As the line went by, tall and swinging and yelling ...
— The Long Roll • Mary Johnston

... volume of Mr. Spurgeon's sermons which he had brought home from Thin's wondrous shop on the Bridges, where many theological works await the crack of doom. The congregation to which he preached was in the stage of recoil from the roaring demagogy of a late minister, and all too promptly elected this ...
— Bog-Myrtle and Peat - Tales Chiefly Of Galloway Gathered From The Years 1889 To 1895 • S.R. Crockett

... The arms that wont to crush with strength alone, The eyes that glared vindictive.—Fallen there, Vast wings upheaved me; from the Alpine peaks Whose avalanches swirl the valley mists And whelm the helpless cottage, to the crown Of Chimborazo, on whose changeless jewels The torrid rays recoil, with ne'er a cloud To swathe their blistered steps, I rested not, But preyed on all that ventured from the earth, An outlaw of the heavens.—But evermore Must death release me to the jungle shades; And there like Samson's ...
— Memories and Studies • William James

... was in this cry, in this "You!" ejaculated with a rapid movement of recoil-amazement, ...
— Prince Zilah, Complete • Jules Claretie

... arrived and besieged the town, and treachery at a postern one stormy night made them masters of it, when scenes of horror followed under the mask of religion that even at this distance of time make one recoil with terror and disgust at the dogmas of the corrupt ...
— Le Morvan, [A District of France,] Its Wild Sports, Vineyards and Forests; with Legends, Antiquities, Rural and Local Sketches • Henri de Crignelle

... In the recesses for the windows, which were very narrow, were fitted platforms, which were evidently intended to place the gun-carriages on, as there were ring-bolts to which to make breechings fast, in order to prevent their running too far back at the recoil. The windows, as in the story above, looked down on the harbour, and seaward, but there was another on the land side which commanded a view of the narrow neck of land which led to the platform on which the castle stood. The lower part of the tower was much in the same state ...
— The Pirate of the Mediterranean - A Tale of the Sea • W.H.G. Kingston

... battle, based on the firm rock of the regulars. But by this time the Confederates had brought up troops from the whole length of their line; the balance of numbers was at last in their favor; and nothing could stay the Federal recoil. Lack of drill and discipline soon changed this recoil into a disorderly retreat. There was no panic; but most of the military units dissolved into a mere mob whose heart was set on getting back to Washington in any way left open. ...
— Captains of the Civil War - A Chronicle of the Blue and the Gray, Volume 31, The - Chronicles Of America Series • William Wood

... along, making for that very hole; he heard the sudden quick rustle in the grass behind that followed, beheld the dusky, squat form that it heralded pounce. He watched the snake's head whip round, and drive with all its power in one last desperate stroke; watched it straighten out suddenly, and recoil in an awful quivering spasm, like a severed telegraph-wire, as the hedgehog's razor-sharp teeth cut through skin and flesh and backbone; and, trembling from head to foot, he witnessed, half-fascinated, I think, ...
— The Way of the Wild • F. St. Mars

... bespoke, our interests take part with our blood. If any doubt arises, if the veil of our implicit confidence is drawn aside by any accident for a moment, the shock is too great, like that of a dislocated limb, and we recoil on our habitual impressions again. Let not that veil ever be rent entirely asunder, so that those images may be left bare of reverential awe, and lose their religion; for nothing can ever support the ...
— Table-Talk - Essays on Men and Manners • William Hazlitt

... thee, my child! ay, and root out these midnight horrors from my kingdom," exclaimed Isabella, indignation flashing in her eye, and flushing on her cheek. "Once we have been insulted—once deceived; but never to us can such occur a second time. Fearfully shall this deed of infamy recoil upon its perpetrators! Tremble not thus, my poor girl, no one shall injure thee; no one can touch thee, for we are warned, and this fearful tale shall be sifted to the bottom! Child of a reprobate faith, and outcast race as thou art, thinkest ...
— The Vale of Cedars • Grace Aguilar

... with misery. And in so sad a world was there not something ignoble about happiness, a selfish aloofness from the life of humanity? And, illogically blent with this questioning, and strengthening her recoil, was an obstinate conviction that there could never be happiness for her, a being of ignominious birth, without roots in life, futile, shadowy, out of relation to the tangible solidities of ordinary existence. To offer her a warm fireside seemed to be to tempt ...
— Children of the Ghetto • I. Zangwill

... the wild turmoil of winds and seas around him, which usually lifted his spirits, was sad, feeling lonely and wretched; he was suffering from the recoil of his little friend's charming presence. Pearl came on deck again looking for him. He did not see her, and the child, seeing an opening for a new game, avoided both her father and mother, who also stood in the shelter of the charthouse, and ran round behind it on the weather side, ...
— The Man • Bram Stoker

... recoil on the heads of those who utter them," I answered. "I earnestly hope that the dreadful ones to which you have been giving expression may not overtake you; but remember, that though he may delay, God's arm is not ...
— My First Voyage to Southern Seas • W.H.G. Kingston

... no particular attention. Again, amidst the supposed refinements of French tragedy, and not observe the coarser tragedy of Corneille, but amidst the more feminine and polished tragedy of Racine, there is no recoil at all from saying of such or such a sentiment, 'Il me perce les entrailles'—it penetrates my bowels. The Greeks and Romans still more extensively use the several varieties of expression for ...
— Theological Essays and Other Papers v1 • Thomas de Quincey

... opportunities thus offered. Finally, Zebek-Dorchi was invited to the imperial lodge, 10 together with all his accomplices; and, under the skilful management of the Chinese nobles in the Emperor's establishment, the murderous artifices of these Tartar chieftains were made to recoil upon themselves, and the whole of them perished by assassination at a great imperial 15 banquet. For the Chinese morality is exactly of that kind which approves in everything ...
— De Quincey's Revolt of the Tartars • Thomas De Quincey

... themselves in the bloodiest scenes of the street-fight with the troops of Charles X.—sent a committee to the Hotel de Ville with a military order, to which they demanded an official signature. The appropriate officer, M. Lobau, refused to sign it. "You recoil, do you?" said the determined young man who presented the ordinance. "Nothing is so dangerous, in revolutions, as to recoil: I will order you ...
— Louis Philippe - Makers of History Series • John S. C. (John Stevens Cabot) Abbott

... His recoil of disgust was too marked to be ignored. Louise half sat up in bed again, supporting herself on one hand. Her nightgown was not buttoned; he saw to the waist a strip of the white skin beneath, saw, too, how a long black strand of her hair fell ...
— Maurice Guest • Henry Handel Richardson

... was a short pause;—and then a shiver, that recoil and tremor which men feel at any exposition of the relics of the dead, ran through the court; for the next witness was mute—it was the skull of the Deceased! On the left side there was a fracture, that from the nature of it seemed as it could only have ...
— Eugene Aram, Complete • Edward Bulwer-Lytton

... were turned to the great events going forward in France. It had not yet occurred to the Italians that the recoil of these events might be felt among themselves. They were simply amused spectators, roused at last to the significance of the show, but never dreaming that they might soon be called from the wings to the footlights. To de Crucis, however, the possibility of such a call was already ...
— The Valley of Decision • Edith Wharton

... open fly, With impetuous recoil and jarring sound, The infernal doors, and on their hinges grate Harsh thunder, that the lowest bottom ...
— Milton • Sir Walter Alexander Raleigh

... moved on, this first impression changed somewhat. She began to distinguish notes that had at first been lost upon her. She caught the mocking, ambiguous tone under which she herself had so often fumed; she watched the occasional recoil of the women about him, as though they had been playing with some soft-pawed animal, and had been suddenly startled by the gleam of its claws. These things puzzled, partly propitiated her. But on the whole she was restless and hostile. How was it possible—from ...
— Marcella • Mrs. Humphry Ward

... mention of the word milk the face of the petitioning fool, ugly enough when untroubled by crosses, took upon itself an expression so hideous that if the girl's spirit had ever permitted her to recoil from any terror she might ...
— The Proud Prince • Justin Huntly McCarthy

... hand, his skill to try, Amid the chords bewildered laid, And back recoil'd, he knew not why, E'en at the sound himself had made. Ode to ...
— Curiosities of Literature, Vol. II (of 3) - Edited, With Memoir And Notes, By His Son, The Earl Of Beaconsfield • Isaac D'Israeli

... crowd below. At the gate the assailants endeavoured to hew their way, with axes, through it; but so steady was the fire directed, from the loopholes which commanded it, upon those so engaged, that they were, each time, forced to recoil with great slaughter. It was not until nearly daybreak that the attack ceased, and the assailants, finding that they could not carry the place by a coup de main, ...
— With Clive in India - Or, The Beginnings of an Empire • G. A. Henty

... his arms, and yet restraining with an effort his own emotion; "you do not recoil before this resolution, which would appear a revolt to any other men! Do you not think that I have abused the powers you have vested in me? I have carried matters very far; but there are times when kings ...
— Serge Panine • Georges Ohnet

... unkindness and cruelty to man and beast, no one knows what the blackness of the harvest will be. His poor horse, quivering under a blow, is not the worst sufferer. Oh, if people would only understand that their unkind deeds will recoil upon their own heads with tenfold force but, my dear child, I am fancying that I am addressing a drawing-room meeting and here we are at your station. Good-bye; keep your happy face and gentle ways. I hope that we may meet again some day." She pressed Miss Laura's hand, gave me ...
— Beautiful Joe • Marshall Saunders

... inquiry had led to the preference of others, but these two well-broken and submissive gentlemen made no visible protest. However much they may have chafed inwardly at the delay, they knew better than to object; any outburst of discontent would, they knew, recoil on themselves. Not only were they perfectly patient now when summoned before the officers of justice, they were most eager to give every assistance to the law, to go beyond the mere letter, and, if needs be, ...
— The Rome Express • Arthur Griffiths

... met his eyes caused him to recoil in horror. There, pressing their shapes against the steel sides, and over the bull's-eyes of the ship were two ...
— Under the Ocean to the South Pole - The Strange Cruise of the Submarine Wonder • Roy Rockwood

... Wychecombe's arm. It is not easy to make a landsman understand the confidence which a sailor feels in a rope. Place but a frail and rotten piece of twisted hemp in his hand, and he will risk his person in situations from which he would otherwise recoil in dread. Accustomed to hang suspended in the air, with ropes only for his foothold, or with ropes to grasp with his hand, his eye gets an intuitive knowledge of what will sustain him, and he unhesitatingly trusts his person to a few ...
— The Two Admirals • J. Fenimore Cooper

... she felt his hand groping for hers. As he found and clasped it, he made a movement as if he wished again to draw her towards him. Gently she resisted, and at once she felt that he responded to her feeling of recoil, and Nan, with a confused sense of shame and anger, was now hurt by his submission. Most men in his place would have made short work of her resistance,—would have taken her, masterfully, into the ...
— Studies in love and in terror • Marie Belloc Lowndes

... "I do not know how far you have used past transactions to terrify me, but I assure you that any blow aimed at me will recoil on yourself. But this is not enough, you have told me to leave your roof forever—and so I will; but first let my wife be informed that I await her pleasure here. I take her with me, and that before you can have an opportunity to poison ...
— Graham's Magazine Vol XXXIII No. 2 August 1848 • Various

... him, and Mesty followed. They opened the door, and beheld a spectacle which made them recoil with horror. There was Mr Easy, with his head in the machine, the platform below fallen from under him, hanging, with his toes just touching the ground. Dr Middleton hastened to him, and, assisted by Mesty and our hero, took him out of the steel collar which was ...
— Mr. Midshipman Easy • Frederick Marryat

... is thus violently set aside. The Rationalistic interpreters have in this respect an easier task. They allow the substitution to stand; but they consider it as a vain fancy. The fact that Hofmann does not recoil from even the most violent interpretations, in order to remove the exclusive reference to Christ, appears, e.g., from his remark, S. 132, that "the chastisement of our peace" designates an actual chastisement, which convinces ...
— Christology of the Old Testament: And a Commentary on the Messianic Predictions. Vol. 2 • Ernst Hengstenberg

... she had a fancy to play me the trick of making me engage myself when in fact she had annihilated the papers. There was a moment when my suspense on this point was so acute that I all but broke out with the question, and what kept it back was but a kind of instinctive recoil (lest it should be a mistake), from the last violence of self-exposure. She was such a subtle old witch that one could never tell where one stood with her. You may imagine whether it cleared up the puzzle when, just after she had said she would think of my proposal and ...
— The Aspern Papers • Henry James

... You're losing time!" called his friend. Sam made no reply. He was watching the wind pushes and waiting for a strong one. It came—it struck the tree-top. There was an ominous crack, but Sam had left enough and pushed hard to make sure; as soon as the recoil began he struck in very rapid succession three heavy strokes, cutting away all the remaining wood on the west side and leaving only a three-inch triangle of uncut fibre. All the weight was now northwest of ...
— Two Little Savages • Ernest Thompson Seton

... Majorian, like the weakest of his predecessors, was reduced to the disgraceful expedient of substituting Barbarian auxiliaries in the place of his unwarlike subjects: and his superior abilities could only be displayed in the vigor and dexterity with which he wielded a dangerous instrument, so apt to recoil on the hand that used it. Besides the confederates, who were already engaged in the service of the empire, the fame of his liberality and valor attracted the nations of the Danube, the Borysthenes, and ...
— The History of The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire - Volume 3 • Edward Gibbon

... its fantastical embellishment; The mind is riveted, the gaze is spent Where lavish Nature pours her richest spoil, The tongue is voiceless with bewilderment, Far, far below the ocean's ceaseless toil Makes bosoms inly shudder and all eyes recoil. ...
— The Minstrel - A Collection of Poems • Lennox Amott

... diaphragm (dia.) contracts and becomes flatter; the air is consequently sucked, in as the lungs follow the movement of the thorax wall. In expiration the intercostals and diaphragm relax and allow the elastic recoil of the lungs to come into play. The thoracic wall is simultaneously depressed by the muscles of the abdominal area, the diaphragm thrust forwards, as the result of the displacement and compression ...
— Text Book of Biology, Part 1: Vertebrata • H. G. Wells

... more than I deserve. And what an answer I had, this very morning? Yes, indeed, but why should such advances end suddenly in this recoil?" ...
— En Route • J.-K. (Joris-Karl) Huysmans

... town: the former to its country-house, or a foreign hotel; the latter to lodgings at the seaside to bathe out of machines and prey on shrimps. The lull that reigned in and about Sapps Court was no doubt a sort of recoil or backwater from other neighbourhoods, with high salaries or real and personal estate, whose dwellings were closed and not being properly ventilated by their caretakers. It reacted on business there, every bit as much as in Oxford ...
— When Ghost Meets Ghost • William Frend De Morgan

... Stephen," said the trader, and received a curt greeting in return. Then Fausch drove the last nail into the pole of the peasants' wagon. As he stood erect again, the brilliant purity of the evening seemed, as it were, to recoil from his grimy figure. No brightness appeared on his swarthy face surrounded with the thick black beard. His flannel shirt, trousers and leather apron, and even his arms and hands were as dark as the inside of his ...
— The German Classics of the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries - Masterpieces of German Literature Vol. 19 • Various

... mouth to catch thrown food. There was no movement of the field, no jarring, no vibration. Nor did the plane itself tremble or shake. Jeter had to stop the rapid firer because its base, the plane, was now so firmly fixed that the recoil might kick the gun out ...
— Lords of the Stratosphere • Arthur J. Burks

... into his ear. He was out of breath with whispering; I could hear him pant slightly. It was all very simple. The same strung-up force which had given twenty-four men a chance, at least, for their lives, had, in a sort of recoil, crushed ...
— 'Twixt Land & Sea • Joseph Conrad

... him. Her fixed female soul, her wound-up female will would solidify into stone—whereas his must break. In him something must break. It was a cold and fatal deadlock, profitless. A life-automatism of fixed tension that suddenly, in him, did break. His will flew loose in a recoil: a recoil away from her. He left her, as inevitably as a broken spring ...
— Aaron's Rod • D. H. Lawrence

... the corner, and the Something crept stealthily thither. A long-drawn, breathless minute and then—the room was flooded with brilliant light, and a figure, kneeling before the cabinet, uttered a strangled cry and leapt up, only to recoil before Mr. ...
— The Definite Object - A Romance of New York • Jeffery Farnol

... view of the steaming horrors of the slaughter-house, that we recoil from killing; but is it the killing which is wrong in itself, or merely ...
— The Forerunner, Volume 1 (1909-1910) • Charlotte Perkins Gilman

... so," she said, with a flash of her occasional repugnance to the man; and then after a pause, "Herr von Gondremark," she added, "I recoil from ...
— The Works of Robert Louis Stevenson - Swanston Edition Vol. 7 (of 25) • Robert Louis Stevenson

... that the idea was brilliantly carried out; but everything favored it. As for the essential idea, I do not place it, as regards ingenuity, in the same class with, for example, the idea of utilizing the force of recoil in a discharged firearm to actuate the mechanism of ejecting and reloading. I do, however, admit, as I did at the outset, that in respect of details the case had unusual features. It developed ...
— The Woman in Black • Edmund Clerihew Bentley

... General Ewell, remained till daylight on Monday morning to clear up things,—not to burn public archives in order to destroy evidence of Confederate villany, but to commit more crime, so deep, damning, that the stanchest friends of the Confederacy recoil ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 15, No. 92, June, 1865 • Various



Words linked to "Recoil" :   jump, retract, carom, pass, reverberate, go on, bouncing, skip, come about, resiliency, motion, fall out, resilience, leap, pass off, bound off, happen, shrink back, occur, move, hap, take place, resile, movement



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