: recoil, retract; especially : to return to a prior position
The politician said he was sorry that his comments had caused offense, but he stopped short of resiling from his position.
"Conservatives should not resile from talking about this subject on moral as well as practical grounds." - From an editorial in The Daily Telegraph (London), January 28, 2012
Did You Know?
"Resile" is a resilient word; it's been around in English since at least 1529. It's also a cousin of "resilient" - both words derive from the Latin verb "resilire,” which means to "jump back" or "recoil." ("Resilire" in turn comes from "salire," meaning "to jump.") "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.
Test Your Vocabulary with M-W Quizzes
Test Your Memory
What recent Word of the Day begins with "u" and means "to criticize" or "to scold"? The answer is ...