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The tendency for the stutterer, at the first sign of tensing on a word, to back up and retreat from the developing oscillation, fixation or blockage, in much the same way that one would withdraw a finger if it touched a hot stove. Recoils are frequently followed by interjections and restarts, and sometimes the stutterer will then engage in word substitutions and circumlocutions.

Definition reprinted with permission from Hood, Stephen B. (editor) available from Stuttering Foundation of America: Stuttering Words (Publication No 2: Speech Foundation of America)

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