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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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.