re·​sile ri-ˈzī(-ə)l How to pronounce resile (audio)
resiled; resiling

intransitive verb

: recoil, retract
especially : to return to a prior position
resile from an agreement

Did you know?

Resile is a resilient word: it's been in use in English since the early 1500s. It's also a cousin of resilient, and both words derive from the Latin verb resilire, which means "to jump back" or "recoil." (Resilire, in turn, comes from salire, meaning "to leap.") Resilient focuses on the ability of something to "bounce back" from damage, whereas resile generally applies to someone or something that withdraws from an agreement or "jumps back" from a stated position. Resile is a word that shows up only occasionally in U.S. sources; it is more common in British and especially Australian English.

Examples of resile in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web There is an illusion in our political culture that our deepest debates could be resolved if only one side or the other would resile their private, inexpert opinions and submit to the facts, the experts, and the guidance of technocrats from the relevant fields. Michael Brendan Dougherty, National Review, 25 Jan. 2023 And, on top of all that, Iran might resile from the deal, further roiling an unstable region at risk of tit-for-tat nuclear proliferation. The Economist, 28 Mar. 2018

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'resile.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Late Latin & Latin; Late Latin resilire to withdraw, from Latin, to recoil

First Known Use

1529, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of resile was in 1529


Dictionary Entries Near resile

Cite this Entry

“Resile.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 3 Dec. 2023.

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