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recoil
used in Moby Dick

3 uses
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Definition
to move backward suddenly (sometimes figuratively)
especially:
  • the backward jerk of a gun or cannon when it is fired
  • when a person flinches (suddenly draws back) from someone or something, as with fear, disgust, or pain
  • when a person is emotionally repulsed, as by disgust
  • when something intended to go in one direction figuratively falls back in the opposite direction; for example, a story told to hurt someone that comes back to hurt the teller
  • 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)