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recoil
used in Moby Dick

3 uses
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Definition
to move backward suddenly
especially:
  • the backward jerk of a gun or cannon when it is fired
  • when a person draws back from someone or something, as with fear, disgust, or pain
  • And if the idea of peril so much enhances the popular conceit of the soldier's profession; let me assure ye that many a veteran who has freely marched up to a battery, would quickly recoil at the apparition of the sperm whale's vast tail, fanning into eddies the air over his head.
    Chapters 22-24 -- Merry Christmas; The Lee Shore; The Advocate (64% in)
  • In striking at a boat, he swiftly curves away his flukes from it, and the blow is only inflicted by the recoil.
    Chapters 85-87 -- The Fountain; The Tail; The Grand Armada (32% in)
  • * So, in a gale, the but half baffled Channel billows only recoil from the base of the Eddystone, triumphantly to overleap its summit with their scud.
    Chapters 133-135 -- The Chase--First Day; The Chase--Second Day; The Chase--Third Day (19% in)

There are no more uses of "recoil" in Moby Dick.

Typical Usage  (best examples)
Dictionary / pronunciation — Google®Dictionary list — Onelook.com®Wikipedia - Recoil (gun)