Backlash



a sudden, forceful backward movement; recoil.
a strong or violent reaction, as to some social or political change:
a backlash of angry feeling among Southern conservatives within the party.
Machinery.

the space between the thickness of a gear tooth and the width of the space between teeth in the mating gear, designed to allow for a film of lubricant, binding from heat expansion and eccentricity, or manufacturing inaccuracies.
play or lost motion between loosely fitting machine parts.

Angling. a snarled line on a reel, usually caused by a faulty cast.
to make or undergo a backlash.
Contemporary Examples

Still, the man did starve himself in the name of a same-sex marriage ban and it, unsurprisingly, earned him a lot of backlash.
Utah Man Gives Up Gay Marriage Hunger Strike Caitlin Dickson January 5, 2014

The backlash may also provide a lift to Barack Obama and… Mitt Romney.
Should Weiner Resign? Daily Beast Contributors Weigh In The Daily Beast June 6, 2011

Were you worried that you would get backlash from your fans for your brutally honest observations?
Man Up, Mr. President: D.L. Hughley on Obama’s Bullies Allison Samuels August 3, 2012

It could reap considerable benefits, but the backlash could be severe.
ISIS Risks Everything to Declare a Caliphate J.M. Berger June 28, 2014

And a bold ruling in favor of marriage equality could spark the kind of backlash ignited by Roe v. Wade.
The Supreme Court Set to Enter the Gay-Marriage Debate Adam Winkler November 28, 2012

To combat this backlash from a more technical perspective, Parker reminds the reader that he had already called in the experts.
11 Juiciest Bits from Sean Parker’s TechCrunch Rant Sarah Langs June 26, 2013

Historical Examples

But he was sure of its source; it had not been any backlash of the Red caller!
The Defiant Agents Andre Alice Norton

As these unpleasant truths emerge, the bitterness, resentment and disillusionment will grow and a backlash will develop.
After the Rain Sam Vaknin

Extrapolating Russian history, it would be reasonable to expect a backlash in the form of a counterrevolution.
After the Rain Sam Vaknin

The backlash of that blast must have caught the majority of the lights also.
Star Hunter Andre Alice Norton

noun
a reaction or recoil between interacting worn or badly fitting parts in a mechanism
the play between parts
a sudden and adverse reaction, esp to a political or social development: a public backlash against the government is inevitable
n.

1815, of machinery, from back (adj.) + lash (n.). In metaphoric sense, it is attested from 1955.

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