Thesaurus

quail

verb

Synonyms and Antonyms of quail

  1. 1 to draw back in fear, pain, or disgust we quailed when the waiter unexpectedly presented us with a hindquarter of frog's legs Synonyms of quail blench, cringe, flinch, recoil, shrink, squinch, winceWords Related to quail blanch, pale, whiten; quake, quiver, shake, shudder, tremble; crouch; jerk, start, twitch; recede, retire, retreat, withdraw; falter, hesitate, reel, waverNear Antonyms of quail advance, approach, near; beard, challenge, confront, defy, face

  2. 2 to draw back or crouch down in fearful submission brave resisters who did not quail before the tyrant's iron hand Synonyms of quail cringe, grovel, cowerWords Related to quail flinch, recoil, shrink, squinch; blanch, blench, whiten; fawn, kowtow, toady

Synonym Discussion of quail

recoil, shrink, flinch, wince, blench, quail mean to draw back in fear or distaste. recoil implies a start or movement away through shock, fear, or disgust.
    • recoiled at the suggestion of stealing
shrink suggests an instinctive recoil through sensitiveness, scrupulousness, or cowardice.
    • shrank from the unpleasant truth
flinch implies a failure to endure pain or face something dangerous or frightening with resolution.
    • faced her accusers without flinching
wince suggests a slight involuntary physical reaction (such as a start or recoiling).
    • winced in pain
blench implies fainthearted flinching.
    • stood their ground without blenching
quail suggests shrinking and cowering in fear.
    • quailed before the apparition


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