to move backward suddenly (sometimes figuratively)
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
Candide recoiled in disgust.
Chapter 4 (6% in)
The tender, loving Candide, seeing his beautiful Cunegonde embrowned, with blood-shot eyes, withered neck, wrinkled cheeks, and rough, red arms, recoiled three paces, seized with horror, and then advanced out of good manners.