recoil at the sight

recoil at the sight (of someone or something)

 and recoil at the thought (of someone or something)
Fig. to flinch or cringe at the sight or thought of someone or something. Sally recoiled at the sight of Gerry, who had said something unspeakable. Mary recoiled at the very thought.
See also: recoil, sight
References in periodicals archive ?
Most football fans of a certain vintage recoil at the sight of youngsters in cities from Bradford to Brisbane donning replica Manchester United shirts.
Readers familiar with O'Connor's fiction will instantly recoil at the sight of the floating rowboat on the book's cover (a painting by Srigley's brother Ron, entitled "Tarwater,") since these readers already know that the boy's spread hand overboard and pushing through the waves is holding underwater the barely visible head of a child being simultaneously baptized and drowned.