recoil

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recoil at the sight (of someone or something)

To shrink back, cower, or cringe upon seeing someone or something. Children recoiled at the sight of the man after his face was disfigured in that accident. We all recoiled at the sight of such a gruesome accident. Some may recoil at the sight, but blood and gore has never bothered me in the slightest. I suppose it's part of the reason I got into forensic pathology.
See also: recoil, sight, someone

recoil at the thought (of someone or something)

To shrink back, cower, or cringe upon thinking about someone or something. I recoiled at the thought of having to put my hand down the toilet. You may recoil at the thought, but amputating the arm is the only way to keep the infection from spreading. She recoiled at the thought of her abusive ex-husband.
See also: recoil, someone, thought

recoil from (someone or something)

To cower, shrink back, or pull away from someone or something. Children recoiled from the man ever since his face had been disfigured in that accident. We need a leader who won't recoil from doing what's right, even if it's unpleasant.
See also: recoil
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

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

recoil from someone or something

to draw back from someone or something. I recoiled from Sally when she told me what she had done. I recoiled from the horror and slammed the door.
See also: recoil
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
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