Main definitions of kick in English

: kick1kick2



  • 1[with object and adverbial] Strike or propel forcibly with the foot:

    ‘police kicked down the door’
    [with object and complement] ‘he kicked the door open’
    • ‘He laughed and I kicked his shin under the table.’
    • ‘One of the protesters kicked a security official in the leg as she was taken out.’
    • ‘When he reached the bedroom, he kicked the door open with his foot.’
    • ‘Mr Duncan, who lived opposite, pushed bystanders aside and kicked down the door.’
    • ‘They kicked down the door, dragged the women outside and went into the house.’
    • ‘The garage door was kicked in, windows smashed and boards ripped apart in a concerted attack that must have lasted several minutes.’
    • ‘All the doors had been kicked in and the office was in a real mess.’
    • ‘They cornered him and launched a brutal attack in which he was repeatedly kicked in the head as he lay on the ground.’
    • ‘Witnesses later told detectives that they saw the men kicking what they thought was " a bundle of rags".’
    • ‘If you like football, go out and kick a ball around with a few mates.’
    • ‘Caine kicked the door open and hauled them both inside.’
    • ‘The flight was terrible: the man sitting next to him snored and the child behind him kept kicking the back of his chair.’
    • ‘She had kicked off her shoes at the beach and rolled up her jeans.’
    • ‘He neared the goal and kicked the ball powerfully.’
    • ‘The appeal follows a recent spate of vandalism where bins have been set alight, plant pots have been kicked over and garden furniture damaged.’
    • ‘The 16-year-old loves nothing better than climbing trees and kicking a ball around with pals on a muddy playing field.’
    • ‘Finally the ball came down on the touchline and Levi was there in a second, kicking the ball into the goal.’
    • ‘In the latest incident, the man was in bed asleep when his front door was kicked in.’
    • ‘Instead of asking young people to turn their music down or stop kicking a ball about, some residents get aggressive or call the police and that obviously makes things a lot worse.’
    • ‘He was kicked in the head after being attacked from behind in what police believe was an unprovoked attack.’
    boot, punt, strike with the foot
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1[no object] Strike out with the foot or feet:
      ‘she kicked out at him’
      [with object] ‘he kicked his feet free of a vine’
      • ‘Andreas turned around and kicked out at Justin, sending him staggering backwards to regain his balance.’
      • ‘My advice to parents would be to encourage their children from as early an age as possible to kick with both feet.’
      • ‘Before she could think, Valerie had swung her leg and kicked as hard as she could at the wooden chair Dev sat on, sending him tumbling onto the ground.’
      • ‘I latched the door, made sure it was secure, and kicked at it just to check.’
      • ‘Ellsia kicked at the table leg trying to release her violent frustration.’
      • ‘Hoyle and Bruce were spoken to by the referee after an altercation in midfield, but following the free kick Bruce kicked out at Hoyle in the penalty area.’
      • ‘Prudence kicked as hard as she could as the men dragged her out of the vehicle and to the side of the road.’
      • ‘She leaned back on one leg, kicking out with her foot.’
      • ‘Acting on instinct, she kicked out at him, causing him to drop the knife.’
      • ‘He kicked at the fire, sending up a shower of sparks.’
      • ‘She kicked her feet weakly and tried to struggle free from his grasp.’
      • ‘She kicked out at the man who held her legs and broke free from his grasp.’
      • ‘Instinctively, he kicked out at the man with the bottle and then a full scale fight erupted in the bar.’
      • ‘She gasped for breath, instinctively beginning to kick at him as hard as she could.’
      • ‘One horse kicked out at him causing fatal injuries.’
      • ‘Once inside the car, he kicked out at the interior door panels and windows, as well as spitting in the face of another police officer.’
      • ‘Donna winced in pain, and spinning round, kicked out at Mark's stomach, momentarily winding him.’
      • ‘I shifted my weight and kicked out at one of them with my right boot, catching him on the hip and sending him sprawling.’
      • ‘He said that he had gone home and had an argument with his mother so he took out his frustration on parked cars, swinging his arms into wing mirrors and kicking out with his feet.’
      • ‘Frantically she kicked out at the form standing over her.’
    2. 1.2 (chiefly in rugby) score (a goal) by a kick:
      ‘Wray kicked 11 points’
      • ‘Johnny Moroney, who played on the left wing, scored 14 points, kicking goals as well as scoring a try.’
      • ‘He not only kicked goals and engineered a string of openings but also scored the crucial opening try.’
      • ‘Barking scored a penalty before Dave Lewis kicked a drop goal a minute later to put them 16-9 ahead.’
      • ‘Against Eaglehawk, they kicked nine goals in the second quarter to lead at half-time.’
      • ‘He won a couple of hard balls in the forward line that were very important, kicked one goal himself and had a hand in a couple of others.’
  • 2informal [with object] Succeed in giving up (a habit or addiction):

    ‘I made a New Year resolution to kick the habit’
    ‘she was trying to kick heroin’
    • ‘The fact is, it is not impossible to kick a nicotine addiction.’
    • ‘Each time he would promise to kick his crippling addictions to heroin and alcohol, but would lapse again almost immediately.’
    • ‘The more places help and support are available, the greater their chances of kicking the costly habit.’
    • ‘Since his arrest he has been to Gamblers Anonymous sessions in Bristol in a bid to kick the spiralling habit.’
    • ‘A cocaine vaccine developed by a UK pharmaceutical company could help cocaine addicts kick their habit.’
    • ‘On any given day there are literally thousands of people trying to kick the smoking habit.’
    • ‘He is going into rehab to try to kick his addiction to prescription painkillers.’
    • ‘In recent years he has kicked his bad habits, embraced marriage and fatherhood, and earned international acclaim as an elder statesman of rock.’
    • ‘But I also recognise that kicking addictions is terribly difficult, and the time of being admitted to hospital is not the time to try it.’
    • ‘Some people have said it's easier to withdraw from heroin than to kick the tobacco habit.’
    • ‘Somehow we got talking about the lottery and he told me he had just kicked the habit.’
    • ‘Arrested three times on drugs charges, he was finally forced to put his career on hold for a year while he kicked his habit.’
    • ‘The campaign, which urged people to embrace a vegetarian diet for healthy living and to kick the meat-eating habit, had attracted much attention.’
    • ‘They say promises to begin the New Year afresh by giving up smoking or junk food are broken so quickly we become convinced that kicking a bad habit is beyond our control.’
    • ‘As he neared the end of his three years and nine months sentence, he began to pick up the pieces of his life, kicking his addiction, getting a job and preparing to start again.’
    • ‘More than half the prisoners who signed up for a detox programme in the country's first drug-free unit have kicked the habit.’
    • ‘It's National No-Smoking Day on Wednesday, a day when millions of tobacco addicts try to kick their unpleasant habit.’
    • ‘For people trying to kick the cigarette habit, gums, patches, lollipops, and lip balms that contain nicotine are often useful.’
    • ‘I'm currently having terrible trouble kicking the smoking habit.’
    • ‘Despite a promise to kick the nicotine habit, he has only managed to cut down from three packs a day to an almost respectable one.’
    give up, break, get out of, abandon, end, escape from
    View synonyms
  • 3[no object] (of a gun) recoil when fired:

    ‘their guns kick so hard that they have developed a bad case of flinching’
    • ‘The gun kicked so hard, Bethany smacked herself in the forehead.’
    • ‘The rifle kicked against his shoulder and the thundering of musket fire grew louder.’
    • ‘He fired another three shots from his rifle, feeling it kick back in his arms.’
    • ‘You expect very small, very powerful guns to kick hard enough to hurt you.’
    • ‘She pulled the trigger and the rifle kicked back.’
    recoil, spring back, fly back
    View synonyms


  • 1A blow or forceful thrust with the foot:

    ‘a kick in the head’
    • ‘Suddenly, the group is upon him, delivering a number of punishing kicks and other blows’
    • ‘He said the blows, kicks and punches continued even when he cowered on the floor with his hands protecting his head.’
    • ‘A post-mortem examination conducted by a Home Office pathologist has revealed he received a number of blows and possibly a number of kicks.’
    • ‘A four-minute video of the brawl was played which showed the Leeds players trading kicks and blows with Owen.’
    • ‘His left arm was nearly useless, and he tried to shield it with his body, but a sudden kick into his side threw him to the right.’
    • ‘There was one Cork player on the ground and a number of kicks were aimed at him.’
    • ‘Zhao said she fell to her knees, and then felt repeated kicks or blows to both sides of her head.’
    • ‘He was knocked out by a kick to the head.’
    • ‘Examples of abuse include punches, kicks, blows and partial suffocation by placing a rubber gas mask over the person's face.’
    • ‘A more probable explanation for some injuries was that they were caused by blows and kicks.’
    • ‘I was gazing out of the window when I felt a sharp kick on the back of my chair.’
    • ‘Thomas aimed a kick and some punches at the victim before Buckley struck a single blow at the man.’
    • ‘Patrick walked forward and landed a kick to the side of Sam's head.’
    • ‘The colonel responded with a swift kick that sent him sprawling.’
    • ‘But when the paramedics tried to leave, two youths attacked them, raining kicks and blows down on their heads and ribs.’
    • ‘A post-mortem examination revealed he died as a result of a single blow to the neck, probably a kick.’
    • ‘He fell to the ground, hard, and had to curl himself into a ball as kicks were rained on his body.’
    • ‘Fighting broke out when one of the team physios aimed a karate kick at an opposing player.’
    • ‘I tried the door one more time before giving it a good kick.’
    • ‘He threw me to the ground, finally releasing my hair, and delivered a swift kick to my stomach.’
    boot, punt
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 (in sport) an instance of striking the ball with the foot:
      ‘Scott's kick went wide of the goal’
      • ‘The kick again slid wide, but at 24-18 the game was well and truly alive again.’
      • ‘With 1 minute remaining plus injury time the score was 0-0 but with the last kicks of the game the opposition nicked two goals.’
      • ‘The gloss on a stunning score came when Stephens converted the touchline kick, giving Kendal a 22-0 lead.’
      • ‘As Hastings's kick sailed wide, the normally restrained England winger Rory Underwood let slip a four-letter expletive in surprise.’
      • ‘They made a flying start with a penalty in the first minute by Andrew Mawdsley, but that was quickly countered by a successful kick from Paul Branthwaite.’
      • ‘O'Meara had another chance to stretch the lead two minutes before the break when Leinster won a penalty on the half-way line but his kick went wide.’
      • ‘A goal with the last kick of the ball, four minutes in to injury time, saw the score end up honours even at 4-4.’
      • ‘A gust of wind resulted in one kick from the touchline blowing right back to the corner flag at the same side of the pitch.’
      • ‘Captain Michelle Harrison took the kick and floated the ball high across the six-yard box.’
      • ‘He sent another effort narrowly wide of the post with almost the final kick of the first half.’
      • ‘Doncaster went ahead after three minutes when York failed to deal with an up-and-under kick and the home scrum-half scored unopposed.’
      • ‘The kick drifted wide of the posts and the visitors' place in the final was secured after a game that neither side deserved to lose.’
      • ‘Soon afterwards Schofield steered his side forward with an excellent 50 yard kick and only his subsequent poor pass prevented Redcar increasing their lead.’
      • ‘Six minutes from the break Henderson tried his luck again with a penalty but sent the kick wide.’
      • ‘Bower produced some gymnastics to keep the ball in play with an overhead kick across the goal-mouth.’
      • ‘As a receiver, Hall adjusts well to poorly thrown balls and also can return kicks.’
      • ‘They started on fire and an accurate cross kick from scrum half Barry Corbett put right winger Jon Cole in for an early unconverted try.’
      • ‘Wharfedale had chance to go ahead with a penalty but the kick was wide of the posts.’
      • ‘On a good day the kick would have been easy, but the wind blew the ball on to the post to rebound out.’
      • ‘Jones maintained his perfect record with a superb kick from the touchline.’
      • ‘With a brilliant kick from the touchline Cooke ended the scoring.’
    2. 1.2British (chiefly in rugby) a player of specified kicking ability.
      • ‘Paul Barnard has become an excellent kick for goal.’
  • 2[in singular] A sudden forceful jolt:

    ‘the shuttle accelerated with a kick’
    • ‘There was a sudden mighty kick, like a giant was shaking the ship, and Lazarus could feel his insides trembling.’
    • ‘There is a sudden kick on the rod and yes, it is indeed a fish, a perch that stays deep for several minutes before, slowly, it begins to swim to the surface.’
    • ‘The aircraft commander, who was at the controls, waited for the kick associated with the missile release.’
    • ‘As I looked outside, I realized we were accelerating, but there was no associated kick.’
    1. 2.1 The recoil of a gun when discharged.
      • ‘Many recruits were worried about the kick of a rifle.’
      • ‘She could see that he hadn't been lying when he had mentioned the gun's vicious kick; some of the students were unprepared and flinched backwards on impact.’
      • ‘He had conditioned himself to ignore the kick and the sharp report, and to hold the sights steady and press the trigger smoothly.’
      • ‘He felt the kick of the sniper rifle in his hands.’
    2. 2.2Billiards An irregular movement of the ball caused by dust:
      ‘he suffered a kick on the pink in frame four’
      • ‘A Doherty break of 26 was then halted by a kick on the white.’
      • ‘A nasty kick on the black prevented him from registering the highest break of the tournament.’
      • ‘Needing just pink and black to book a fourth round spot against David Roe, Davison got a nasty kick on the cueball, causing him to miss the pink and letting Finbow in to clinch the match.’
  • 3informal The sharp stimulant effect of alcohol or a drug:

    ‘strong stuff, this brew: he felt the kick’
    • ‘Those who drink Corona beer often shove a lime wedge into the bottle to give the beer a citrus kick.’
    • ‘It has quite a kick, emphasised by a pungent aroma that brings tears to the eyes and a hanky to the nose.’
    • ‘This wine has a deep purple colour, with a lively kick of dark fruit and warm cinnamon spices.’
    • ‘Cannabis is often an intermediary drug, used before the user moves onto harder drugs, when the kick of cannabis wears off.’
    • ‘My girlfriend had vegetarian fajitas that were perfectly spiced to give a kick to a rather bland selection of vegetables.’
    • ‘The Glühwein has quite a kick, emphasised by a pungent aroma that brings tears to the eyes.’
    • ‘Incredibly moist and flavorful, with the wonderful taste of orange, the subtle kick of ginger and a delicious sugar crust, it also looks beautiful.’
    • ‘It comes in twelve different fruit flavours and the alcoholic kick is provided by schnapps.’
    • ‘It tastes like watered down barley water with a bit of an alcoholic kick.’
    potency, stimulant effect, alcoholic effect, strength, power, punch
    View synonyms
    1. 3.1 A thrill of pleasurable, often reckless excitement:
      ‘rich kids turning to crime just for kicks’
      ‘I get such a kick out of driving a racing car’
      • ‘Little did they know, this is what she did for kicks.’
      • ‘Some people seem to get a kick out of taking this as it is illegal, so if it was legal, then there wouldn't be anyone taking it.’
      • ‘We just get a big kick out of seeing our names in the paper…that's what drives people like us into this business’
      • ‘He is passionate about football and gets a real kick out of seeing the children in his club succeed.’
      • ‘Who did not get a kick out of seeing Bono - Irish to his boots - unveil that Stars and Stripes jacket at the Super Bowl?’
      • ‘He denied that pupils at his school were taking horse tranquillisers for kicks or that they were less than communicative because of their drug habits.’
      • ‘And for a growing number of people, putting a needle in your vein for kicks is an acceptable thing to do.’
      • ‘Extra undercover officers will patrol city estates in a bid to curb the antics of youngsters who steal cars for kicks or take them for use in other crimes and then burn them out.’
      • ‘The Adventure Show focuses on fanatics who get their kicks out of non-traditional sports with an emphasis on extremes and endurance.’
      • ‘There is, it seems, a certain sort of human pathology, male pathology, to which this appeals, just as serial killers get a kick from their power over the powerless.’
      • ‘Horror fans should get a kick out of this obscure little film.’
      • ‘They get their kicks from destroying property, scaring people and inflicting pain.’
      • ‘He's the type of guy who'll try anything once for kicks.’
      • ‘She has a 15-year-old son who goes to Orchard Park, where teenagers were photographed sniffing petrol for kicks.’
      • ‘We have found too, that these younger patients have a great deal to contribute to our entire treatment programme through their energy and enthusiasm and that they get a kick out of doing so.’
      thrill, excitement, stimulation, tingle
      View synonyms
    2. 3.2[with modifier] A temporary interest in a particular thing:
      ‘the jogging kick’
      • ‘I would suggest that increased numbers in 2003 had more to do with last year's hot summer than a sudden health kick by visitors.’
      • ‘Lately I have been back on the self-examination kick.’
      • ‘America is on one of its prohibitionist kicks, treating drugs as something utterly satanic.’
      • ‘I went on a health kick this summer, and weaned myself almost entirely off donuts.’
      • ‘It's part of the whole nostalgia kick, I suspect.’
      • ‘The last couple of years I've been on a big Motown kick.’
      craze, enthusiasm, obsession, mania, passion, preoccupation, fixation
      View synonyms
  • 4US kicksinformal Soft sports shoes; trainers:

    ‘a pair of basketball kicks’
    • ‘In simple terms, the deal meant that each team had a 'Home' and an 'Away' coloured pair of kicks to match their jerseys.’
    • ‘He's rocking his dad's old Sixers jersey and the red, white and blue adidas kicks that were specially made for him a while back.’
    • ‘We cashed-up city folk spend a good deal of time trying and buying new kicks.’
    • ‘Nearly 30% of respondents wear their kicks just for kicks - not as a get-up to participate in any sport.’
    • ‘I never knew his name, we just called him "boots" after the Western kicks he wore always.’
    • ‘For weeks, Luis had bugged his father about the hot new Air Jordan Retro 5 kicks that were coming out.’
    • ‘Michael Jordan apparently wears one pair of kicks to warm up in and another to play in.’
    • ‘Meaning he could wear a different pair of kicks - and we're talking different individual makes here, no two alike - every day for five years.’
    • ‘It's just that when your coworker complimented you on your new kicks, you weren't expecting her to go out and buy the exact same ones.’
    • ‘These colorful mesh and sequin kicks are the perfect pair of "emergency shoes."’
    • ‘The money that leaves Spanish Harlem or Bedford Stuyvesant to purchase the latest, most expensive pair of kicks most likely isn't going back into those neighborhoods.’
    • ‘Spend a foot-wrenching jog in the wrong pair of kicks and your adventures in the asphalt trade promise to be as enjoyable as an Enron stock return.’
    • ‘Reebok apparently declined to sign him to an endorsement deal, ending their bidding war with Nike for #8 to wear their kicks.’
    • ‘As usual in every All-Star Weekend, they strike their best pose and wear the latest thing in kicks.’
    • ‘First, he reported that MJ wouldn't be wearing retro kicks for the game because they give him blisters.’
    • ‘You have only two days left to enter to win a hot new pair of Converse kicks.’
    • ‘To keep it fair and square, all names will be put into the tank and the lucky winners will be able to snap up a very collectable pair of kicks for only $250.’
    • ‘The Nets all wore black socks and black kicks last night.’
    • ‘Worn-out soles will wear out your knees: replace them or pick up a new pair of kicks.’
    • ‘If your idea of an appropriate outfit to wear to the grocery store is a flannel shirt, green sweatpants and a pink pair of these kicks, stay in the house.’
    • ‘What's your favorite pair of kicks?’


  • kick against the pricks

    • Hurt oneself by persisting in useless resistance or protest.

      • ‘In his world at least those angry young men of his youth are still forever young and eternally kicking against the pricks.’
      • ‘His conscience was reached: he faced up to the fact that he had been kicking against the pricks.’
      • ‘Ned is portrayed as both the good son taking responsibility for his big Irish immigrant family and the rebel offspring of a ne'er do well: lacking guidance but not the urge to kick against the pricks of a boorish Victoria constabulary.’
      • ‘They might have been Dagenham car workers, Yorkshire miners, Scottish dockers, dustbin men or printers, shimmering spectres now from distant times when to kick against the pricks was considered admirable rather than merely pointless.’
      • ‘He has constantly kicked against the pricks in the film business, hence the curmudgeonly tag.’
      • ‘Young Tim just wants a 10-speed bike but the effort he expends kicking against the pricks - brother, parents, teachers - is enough to drive insane even the healthiest among us.’
      • ‘And it's equally strange how much time you can spend kicking against the pricks, waiting and hoping for things to change - only to find that what you thought you wanted changed was really your safety net.’
      • ‘When I last left you - it seems so much longer than seven years - I knew in my heart that I was kicking against the pricks.’
      • ‘They are still kicking against the pricks for all they are worth but fortunately they have remembered to write some tunes this time around.’
      • ‘I'm glad - more than glad, I'm indebted in a multitude of ways and even if I disagree with her on the details deeply grateful - that she is around to kick against the pricks, as exhausting and demoralizing an avocation as that is.’
  • kick (some) ass (or butt)

    • vulgar slang Act in a forceful or aggressive manner.

  • kick someone's ass (or butt)

    • vulgar slang Punish, dominate, or defeat someone.

  • a kick at the can (or cat)

    • informal An opportunity to achieve something.

      • ‘It's time for our annual review of court decisions from the past year - one last opportunity for a kick at the cat where I disagreed with the court and, much less fun, compliments where I think they got it right.’
      • ‘Our guys would just like a kick at the can.’
      • ‘The loft spaces are now condos, the families sold up and moved on, and new people are having a kick at the can selling different things to a different neighborhood.’
      • ‘So, it's a fairly long, cumbersome process, and everyone gets a kick at the can.’
      • ‘It's a once in a lifetime opportunity to take a kick at the cat.’
      • ‘I kind of think certain players deserve a kick at the can in some respect, a chance, but you do have to earn it.’
      • ‘My partner and I use VMWare, and we're already debating whether or not we should give VS a kick at the can.’
      • ‘Every few years we are allowed to have a kick at the can to actually choose which privileged bastard will rule us.’
      • ‘When he stepped down, Gillick said it was someone else's turn to ‘take a kick at the can.’’
      • ‘Since 1967, all three major parties have had a kick at the can.’
  • kick the bucket

    • informal Die:

      ‘when the old girl finally kicked the bucket there was no mention of yours truly in the will’
      • ‘I always wanted to have a rich relative who kicked the bucket and left all his money to me.’
      • ‘Heck, I've had 2 dramatically different careers already and am contemplating a good few more before I kick the bucket!’
      • ‘The film's title refers to a wish list that two terminally ill men try to fulfill before each kicks the bucket.’
      • ‘He wanted to do his own thing and he wanted to do it now - not down the track when his father finally kicked the bucket.’
      • ‘If I kick the bucket, half of everything immediately goes to the government, because we're not legally married.’
      • ‘This would be an optimum age to kick the bucket, I feel, as I'd never have to suffer the indignity of reaching 40.’
      • ‘I see the old man finally kicked the bucket.’
      • ‘But in spite of the fact, when he kicks the bucket and departs his mortal coil, it is going to be one of the biggest funerals in the Bahamas.’
      • ‘When rich Americans kick the bucket, they invariably will a good sum to their alma maters, pet charities or research institutions.’
      • ‘Even though the British Empire had long since kicked the bucket, the expats could still be found pretty much anywhere the Brits had a former colony.’
  • kick the can down the road

    • informal Put off confronting a difficult issue or making an important decision, typically on a continuing basis:

      ‘I appreciate that he doesn't want to raise taxes, but sooner or later you have to stop kicking the can down the road’
      • ‘They already kicked the can down the road in the debt ceiling agreement that led to this.’
      • ‘In politics there is always a temptation to kick the can down the road and hope that problems might disappear.’
      • ‘For our part, we would greatly prefer to deal with the adjustments that are necessary for robust economic growth, rather than just kicking the can down the road.’
      • ‘We have kicked the can down the road for a generation.’
      • ‘However, he viewed the federal government's actions as simply kicking the can down the road without solving the fundamental problems.’
      • ‘For months, in response to the Greek crisis, the eurozone's leaders have been kicking the tin can down the road.’
      • ‘They have been kicking the can down the road for two years.’
      • ‘"It kicks the can down the road for a slight amount of time," Mr. Stone said.’
      • ‘We can always kick the can down the road by saying now's not the right time for anything we don't feel like doing.’
      • ‘Probably in December they'll kick the can down the road which is what Washington always does.’
      delay, put off doing something, postpone action, defer action, be dilatory, use delaying tactics, stall, temporize, play for time, play a waiting game, dally, drag one's feet, drag one's heels, take one's time
      View synonyms
  • kick one's heels

  • a kick in the pants (or up the backside)

    • informal An unwelcome surprise that prompts fresh effort:

      ‘the competition will be healthy—we need a kick in the pants’
      • ‘Failing to qualify for the final two rounds of the St Andrews Links Trophy last week gave me a kick up the backside which I fully deserved.’
      • ‘We think we've got a good team but, every now and then, we could use a kick up the backside.’
      • ‘She is there for me when things go wrong - and when I need a kick up the backside.’
      • ‘He is a very good coach in every respect, the first guy to give you a kick up the backside but also the first to give you a pat on the back when he feels you deserve it.’
      • ‘Stuttgart gave me a kick up the backside, and I re-focused and came out better last year - it was what I needed.’
      • ‘We had a bit of a kick up the backside at half time, which we deserved, and that spurred us on.’
      • ‘Today, if I was the president, I would dismiss the coach and line the players up against a wall and give them all a kick up the backside.’
      • ‘It is easy to dismiss Ivanov, alongside Chekhov's other plays, as being full of melancholy middle class moaners who need a kick up the backside.’
      • ‘He strikes me as a guy who needs a lot of love - maybe a lot of love and a kick in the pants.’
      • ‘Sometimes people need empathy; sometimes they need a kick in the pants.’
  • kick someone in the pants (or up the backside)

    • informal Prompt someone to make fresh effort.

      • ‘I have a reason to kick you in the pants and light fire under you to keep you focused and keep you going.’
      • ‘His advice is always timely, full of common sense and he never hesitates to kick me in the pants when necessary.’
      • ‘So, I've been thinking I really need something to kick me in the pants and get me blogging again, I recall I used to rather enjoy it.’
      • ‘I can barely spend time with my extended kin without the having the urge to kick them up the backside.’
      • ‘Maybe a jail term will kick him in the pants and straighten him out.’
  • a kick in the teeth

    • informal A grave setback or disappointment:

      ‘this broken promise is a kick in the teeth for football’
      • ‘To hear from the Government that their regiment is about to be scrapped is a kick in the teeth for the brave men and women of our armed services.’
      • ‘This is a kick in the teeth for the members of the council who worked so hard.’
      • ‘This is a kick in the teeth for the people of Salford and an outrageous waste of taxpayers' money.’
      • ‘Residents living close to the proposed multi-storey office and car park complex in Abbey Street said revised plans for the site are a kick in the teeth for the local community.’
      • ‘The chairman described the council's decision to reject the scheme as a kick in the teeth.’
      • ‘For the poorly paid staff, who earn from £9,000 to £12,000 per year, this was a kick in the teeth.’
      • ‘We are trying to improve the facilities all the time and make the ground more presentable and this sort of thing is just a kick in the teeth.’
      • ‘Further restrictions on working time would be a kick in the teeth for many firms, particularly smaller ones.’
      • ‘This is nothing more than a kick in the teeth for the local residents who have supported the club for many years.’
      • ‘The European Court of Justice has recently delivered a kick in the teeth to British people who want to work longer hours.’
  • kick someone in the teeth

    • informal Cause someone a grave setback or disappointment:

      ‘there are times when life kicks you in the teeth’
      • ‘Jamie Johnstone said staff felt like they had been kicked in the teeth after all their hard work building up the business.’
      • ‘We've been kicked in the teeth so many times over the years but have always managed to keep on going, but this time, we're in real trouble.’
      • ‘Scotland have an uncanny knack of finding heartbreaking ways of exiting tournaments, of getting the nation's hopes up before kicking them in the teeth.’
      • ‘On the 60th anniversary of D-Day they patted us on the back… nine months later they kick us in the teeth.’
      • ‘You think you're going in the right direction and then a performance like that really kicks you in the teeth so all the lads were very disappointed and so were the staff.’
      • ‘Why is it, as soon as I show even the faintest sign of optimism, something happens to really kick me in the teeth?’
      • ‘Police officers must feel like they are kicked in the teeth every time they see someone they locked up back on the streets when they worked so hard to put them away in the first place.’
      • ‘But one day the world kicks you in the teeth and you don't have any choice but to see things the way they really are.’
      • ‘She launched a scathing attack on the sport's main authorities - insisting she has been kicked in the teeth by the very people who should be supporting her.’
      • ‘I've always wanted to play cricket for my country, so it felt like they were kicking me in the teeth.’
  • kick something into touch (or into the long grass)

    • informal Reject, dismiss, or invalidate something:

      ‘his modest request for £300,000 in public investment was kicked into touch by the Arts Council’
      ‘a football star has won his legal battle to get a driving conviction kicked into touch’
      • ‘This is an ideal opportunity to debate the matter and it is wrong to kick it into touch once again.’
      • ‘Kicking the issue into the long grass beyond 2015 only emboldens our European competitors.’
      • ‘Since the concept of a regulator for payments systems is so strongly disliked by banks, this consultative period may give them the chance to kick the whole thing into touch.’
      • ‘It can't have come as a great shock to Sharp that his application was kicked into touch.’
      • ‘The issue has been kicked into the long grass until the party's main conference in October.’
      • ‘But now a report from consultants has kicked the proposals into touch, forcing Mr Branston to abandon one of his big ideas.’
      • ‘Both sides dug their heels in, and the album's American release was kicked into the long grass.’
      • ‘It was obvious that the deal was no longer tenable, so we kicked it into touch.’
      • ‘A five-year battle to introduce protection for employees who blow the whistle on companies engaged in malpractice ended last week when the government effectively kicked the measure into touch.’
      • ‘Other ministers have repeatedly kicked all proposals into the long grass.’
  • kick oneself

    • Be annoyed with oneself for doing something foolish or missing an opportunity:

      ‘he was kicking himself for not biding his time’
      • ‘Anyone who left last Saturday's league match early will be kicking themselves.’
      • ‘If you miss this show you'll be kicking yourself all winter.’
      • ‘I dare say that the people who said no are kicking themselves.’
      • ‘Don't miss it when you get the chance to see it or you'll be kicking yourself when you finally do.’
      • ‘Every broadcaster is moving to those bigger pictures, and you will soon be kicking yourself if you buy a set that has the old screen shape, unless it's a portable for the bedroom.’
      • ‘They'll be kicking themselves for the mistakes they made.’
      • ‘We were really kicking ourselves afterwards at having missed such a golden opportunity.’
      • ‘Many people will be pleased that they got in just in time, but even more will be kicking themselves that they missed out.’
      • ‘You'll be kicking yourself Monday if you don't take ten minutes today to read this.’
      • ‘Well I will continue to kick myself over the fact that I did not sell when they hit $150.’
  • kick over the traces

    • Become insubordinate or reckless.

      • ‘They're just kids doing what kids do, which is kick over the traces and test their independence.’
      • ‘Never mind that you have learned something new, that you have kicked over the traces of your parents.’
      • ‘I sense a certain aimlessness and confusion amongst those of us who keep kicking over the traces, I wonder if God isn't rebuking us for such a perversely inverted lack of grace.’
      • ‘Even when there is no intention to kick over the traces, the quiet understanding of compatibles offers a hint of forbidden pleasure.’
      • ‘The rebel son is restless, longs to kick over the traces and seeks personal advancement.’
      • ‘George is already kicking over the traces - spending too much, drinking too much, gambling too much and, as Amelia dare not admit to herself, consorting adulterously with other women.’
      • ‘It was very hard aged 15, 16, 17, at a school like the Academy, at which a great number of my contemporaries were hereditary Tory, hereditary unionist, in their mentality, not to kick over the traces.’
      • ‘We were kicking over the traces, stepping into our own power and stepping out to get more.’
      • ‘Kapri is as charming as ever it was, the people as odd: everybody is very immoral, but fortunately not so dull as those who kick over the traces often are.’
      • ‘Anil's father went to the UK to study but ended up kicking over the traces and having his hair cut, which was tremendously rebellious for his community at the time.’
  • kick the shit out of

    • vulgar slang

      see shit
  • kick the tin

    • informal Contribute money to a cause:

      ‘if your business would like to kick the tin, there's a range of sponsorship packages’
      • ‘It has been kicking the tin for a year already with cash for us.’
      • ‘Even when we come in and kick the tin, you do not accept it; you want more and more.’
      • ‘While the federal transport minister repeatedly says he doesn't have to contribute a cent, she is keen for them to kick the tin again.’
      • ‘Rather unnecessarily I thought, 'I'm kicking the tin for a few others as well so you needn't mention this.'’
      • ‘If you want to kick the tin to help raise a joey, phone us now.’
      • ‘We have worked within the system, “kicking the tin,” participating in Safety Board hearings, and even providing congressional testimony when necessary.’
      • ‘Whether you are a carer, a fundraiser for research into illnesses, or someone who always kicks the tin and donates, your efforts are appreciated.’
  • kick someone/thing to the curb

    • informal Reject or cast aside:

      ‘things get complicated for Alfie when he's kicked to the curb by his girlfriend’
      • ‘Shouldn't Kim have kicked Steve to the curb?’
      • ‘Guy meets girl, girl kicks guy to the curb, his self-esteem, crushed.’
      • ‘Not a lot has changed in the battle of the sexes guy meets girl, girl kicks guy to the curb, his self-esteem crushed.’
      • ‘Many years ago, when my wife and I were just dating, she kicked me to the curb.’
      • ‘She seems to have gotten over her previous misadventure of being kicked to the curb on her wedding day by Basil.’
      • ‘Guy meets girl, girl kicks guy to the curb.’
      • ‘I've been kicked to the curb enough times to know that religion matters in a relationship, even when it doesn't to an individual.’
      • ‘We see her untimely pregnancy, her ill-fated marriage, and her poor attempts at being a single mother after she kicks Ray to the curb.’
      • ‘There's barely a happy moment to be found, with Cole either recovering from heartbreak, overcoming betrayal or kicking someone to the curb.’
      • ‘Something he apparently hasn't been able or willing to do since I kicked him to the curb.’
  • kick the tyres

    • informal Inform oneself about the quality of a product, service, etc. before buying:

      ‘borrowers should be sure to kick the tyres on that offer before signing up’
      ‘they kicked the tyres but decided not to buy the property’
      • ‘I'm not going to bring a fare increase to the board based on these circumstances, until we have this top-to-bottom review and until I'm convinced we've kicked the tires on it.’
      • ‘He puts a lot of emphasis on fundamental research, and going out to companies and kicking the tires.’
      • ‘Right now we are in a very close contest as the voters lift the hood and kick the tyres and make an assessment.’
      • ‘The rumor of the weekend, of course, was that the company was hanging out in Finland kicking the tires on a huge potential merger.’
      • ‘A team of scouts has kicked the tires and slammed the doors on these and many, many more free agents and knows which players are a good buy for which teams.’
      • ‘As many of you know, she is kicking the tires of colleges right now.’
      • ‘Typically, companies parcel out the initial sign-up invitations to a select few, asking that they kick the tires and offer feedback.’
      • ‘The company has begun kicking the tires of online music services as it rethinks its strategy, which hinges on streaming media, not downloads.’
      • ‘We've got to kick the tires of these candidates, see what they're about.’
      • ‘The British have kicked the tires and are now taking their biometric passport scheme out for a test drive.’
      • ‘Give me a log in and a password; I want to get in and look around and kick the tires.’
      • ‘They're kicking the tires on the opposition parties.’
      • ‘With millions of dollars at stake on a single player, it's hard to fault the franchises for repeatedly kicking the tires.’
      • ‘Australia's biggest renewable energy company is trying to flog itself to the highest bidder—and plenty of global players have been kicking the tyres.’
      • ‘People can "kick the tires" on college finance sources for the best deals.’
  • kick up a fuss (or a stink)

    • informal Object loudly or publicly to something:

      ‘local people are kicking up a fuss about the noise and smells from the farm’
      • ‘And if schoolkids are being prevented from using this forum then it is time we all kicked up a stink.’
      • ‘So if you disapprove of this approach to public artworks, now is the time to start kicking up a stink.’
      • ‘This woman kicked up a fuss and demanded to be moved to another table.’
      • ‘People need to shop around and not be afraid of kicking up a fuss if they feel dissatisfied.’
      • ‘If he kicks up a fuss, you know there's more to the relationship than meets the eye.’
      • ‘A husband and wife kicked up a stink after discovering raw sewage in their street.’
      • ‘It is the liberal elite, not the public, that kicks up a fuss about gay MPs.’
      • ‘Councillors in Ulverston are kicking up a stink about the amount of litter in the town.’
      • ‘I didn't think that it would be a big problem but he really kicked up a fuss when I told him about the accident.’
      • ‘Residents in Witham are again kicking up a stink over the aroma emanating from the town's sewage works.’
  • kick up one's heels

    • Have a lively, enjoyable time.

      • ‘Do you kids feel that you need to kick up your heels?’
      • ‘But while property sharks may be kicking up their heels, small-time Plateau landowners and their tenants are bearing the brunt.’
      • ‘His men were playing a banjo tune and kicking up their heels.’
      • ‘Wear clothes you wouldn't want your neighbours to see, get a henna tattoo, have a few drinks, kick up your heels and most important of all… smile at strangers and meet the locals!’
      • ‘Smelling the roses and kicking up your heels while you are still young enough to enjoy it is an aim for many hard-working professionals.’
      • ‘Steamboat Springs is also known for its western hospitality so bring your cowboy boots and belt buckles, kick up your heels, and be prepared to enjoy yourself.’
      • ‘Diane, who passed away in early June, after an awe-inspiring battle with pancreatic cancer, would have, as one press member put it, ‘shrugged her shoulders,’ then gone off to kick up her heels from pure joy!’
      • ‘But the young ones had something entirely different in mind, and proceeded to run, buck, and twirl on the ice, kicking up their heels.’
      • ‘All let their worries go, and went back to their young days kicking up their heels, and having a ball.’
      • ‘At 95, that merry widow is still kicking up her heels.’
      • ‘Once you have reached a stage of utter bliss, kick off the comfy shoes, kick up your heels and head for any of the bars or nightclubs where you can work off your sumptuous meal by dancing the night away.’
      • ‘With the women in one circle (no one to impress now girls so we can just kick up our heels!) and the men in another, the guests whirl the bride and groom around, dancing with them and surrounding them with concentric circles of joy.’
      • ‘The mother-daughter duo kick up their heels and kick off the second season of their reality show tomorrow.’
      • ‘‘No,’ I reply, ‘it's for people like you and me who want to kick up our heels at a certain age.’’
      • ‘Lees did have some time to kick up her heels outside of the classroom as well.’
      • ‘She had no idea of the paces we would put her through or do but by Wednesday she was dancing, kicking up her heels, doing a whole number, a tango thing with the dancers.’
      • ‘They chase each other around, climb over stuff - they're so happy they want to kick up their heels.’
      • ‘It was a warm night but people seemed to want to kick up their heels.’
  • kick someone upstairs

    • informal Remove someone from an influential position by giving them an ostensible promotion:

      ‘he'll be kicked upstairs for a year or so before taking early retirement’
      • ‘But Republican Party bosses, fearful of his independence, managed to kick him upstairs to the vice presidency.’
      • ‘Clifford removed General William Westmoreland as Vietnam commander, kicking him upstairs to become Army chief of staff and replacing him with General Creighton Abrams.’
      • ‘I wonder how many of CCSD's top administrators were appointed in order to kick them upstairs.’
      • ‘In March, he was kicked upstairs to head the World Bank.’
      • ‘Although this varies by organization, the front-line people are often all too eager to kick you upstairs.’
      • ‘If they can't get on, the prime minister has to sack his chancellor, make him foreign secretary, kick him upstairs to the Lords as lord chancellor or see his Cabinet disintegrate.’
      • ‘Thousands of letters and telegrams from small businessmen, farmers and labor leaders urged him to resist all attempts to kick him upstairs.’
      • ‘Stop waiting for your supervisor to kick you upstairs.’
      • ‘Gromyko had been one of Gorbachev's supporters and he was kicked upstairs to become head of state.’
      • ‘As part of the deal, he would have become chairman (but not CEO) - which was simply a way to kick him upstairs.’
  • kick someone when they are down

    • Cause further misfortune to someone who is already in a difficult situation:

      ‘he did not believe in the doctrine that you did not kick a man when he was down’
      • ‘Talk about kicking someone when they are down.’
      • ‘There's an understandable reluctance to kick a man when he's down, and most commentators have found something nice to say about the fallen leader.’
      • ‘In most cases, I hate seeing the press kick somebody when they're down.’
      • ‘And there is no honor in kicking somebody when they are down.’
      • ‘It's not fair to kick someone when they are down when nothing is proven.’
      • ‘Instead of kicking them when they are down they should be extending a helping hand to the unemployed people.’
      • ‘It's very easy to kick someone when they're down, but if I start the season well, then the British tabloids will get behind me, because that's what sells papers’

Phrasal Verbs

  • kick against

    • Protest against or resist (something):

      ‘young people are supposed to kick against the establishment’
      • ‘I wonder whether there wasn't a point at which they kicked against their upbringing, as most teenagers do?’
      • ‘She was always rebellious, kicking against the established ways of doing things, and one of the forms this took was marrying in haste, and for love, one of the first men who came along.’
      • ‘Inevitably, self-obsessed Gwen kicks against the system, until learning lessons the hard way.’
      • ‘And, coming late to the development game, its 150 miles of beautiful coastline are still largely unexploited - a big asset in a market that is starting to kick against mindless overdevelopment.’
      • ‘Sheffield always kicks against the national trend and one thing I discovered over the years is that just because something happened nationally does not mean it is going to happen in Sheffield.’
      • ‘He was a musician, too: that gave him carte blanche to be wild, to refuse to conform, to kick against the domesticity that I was creating around him.’
      • ‘Taboo thrived in a period of right-wing politics, the Thatcher / Reagan years, and it's proof of a basic human need to have something to kick against.’
      • ‘It is the job of the journalist, he says, to kick against authority.’
      • ‘All my life I've railed and kicked against dogma and rhetoric: I've stuck my neck out.’
      • ‘Working in television provided him with training, a secure job and an establishment to kick against, and he remains grateful for all of this.’
      resist, rebel against, oppose, fight against, struggle against, refuse to accept
      protest against, complain about, rage against, grumble about, object to
      defy, disobey, reject, spurn
      gripe about, grouse about, beef about, bitch about
      View synonyms
  • kick around (or about)

    • 1(of a thing) lie unwanted or unexploited:

      ‘the idea has been kicking around for over a year’
      • ‘Some of the songs on here have been kicking around for years.’
      • ‘Working in a bank, it's odd to see that people still have old notes and coins kicking about which they bring in from time to time to exchange.’
      • ‘The notion has been kicking around since late November and the very fact that it has taken me until late January to look at it shows where it figures on my Richter Scale.’
      • ‘That debate's been kicking around for decades now.’
      • ‘Well, thankfully I don't have a gun kicking around my New York apartment.’
      • ‘That's an awful long time for an application to be kicking around the patent office.’
      • ‘Those pics are nearly 10 years old, they were kicking about on the net months ago.’
      • ‘Virtually any company with about $20,000 kicking around could find a game designer to produce them a fun game, which they can then give away for free as advertising.’
      • ‘Then, a couple years later, I was writing a movie with Chris at Paramount, and the producers asked me if I had anything kicking around, because they liked the work I was doing.’
      • ‘What sort of people have £50,000 kicking around?’
      1. 1.1(of a person) drift idly from place to place:
        ‘I kicked around picking up odd jobs’
        • ‘Lowe has been kicking around the British folk music scene long enough to have influenced many of his contemporaries.’
        • ‘They appear to have been kicking around Milwaukee for a good decade now, putting out cassettes and such.’
        • ‘We were kicking around Napa when we stumbled upon the CIA's campus, and I remember hearing their food was great and their prices were relatively cheap.’
        • ‘Meantime, he kicks around 13th Street, living in an apartment above the newsstand.’
        • ‘Hey is it just me, or is her hair ludicrously overdone for someone who just kicks around school and Ramsay Street all day?’
        • ‘Bands who have been kicking around for a couple of years just aren't interested.’
        • ‘In 1970, after a few years kicking around the live music scene, Collins answered a classified ad seeking a drummer and joined Peter Gabriel, Tony Banks and Mike Rutherford to form Genesis.’
        • ‘Kelly Willis has kicked around record labels nearly as much as her family kicked around the country while she was growing up.’
        • ‘It is a second career for both of them: trained in horticulture, the Whittles went abroad in their late twenties, kicking around for five years before settling down on Vancouver Island, Canada.’
        • ‘Wolfe's been kicking around frat houses to do his research.’
  • kick someone around

    • Treat someone roughly or without respect:

      ‘they can't kick me around’
      • ‘Talk about excessive force: they subdue the guy and then continue to beat him up and kick him around.’
      • ‘But 10 days ago a pitiless thug broke into her home, kicked her around like a football and stole her life savings.’
      • ‘She tied me up to the tree and started kicking me around until I lost my consciousness.’
      • ‘Why are conservative pundits still kicking him around?’
      • ‘You've been kicking us around for three years, and we've had enough of it.’
      • ‘Looks like whoever did this kicked him around, I suspect some of his ribs are at least cracked.’
      • ‘I spent four years in the army to free a bunch of Dutchmen and Frenchmen, and I'm hanged if I'm going to let the Alabama version of the Germans kick me around when I get home.’
      • ‘Four armed men forced him out of the car, put a bag over his head after kicking him around and threw him into a minivan.’
      • ‘I've already taken a few knocks and expect to get kicked about a bit, but I can deal with it.’
      • ‘Once she learned I wasn't going to hit her or kick her around, she thought she could get away with murder.’
      abuse, mistreat, maltreat, treat disrespectfully, treat inconsiderately, push about, push around, boss about, boss around, trample on, take for granted
      View synonyms
  • kick something around (or about)

    • Discuss a proposal informally:

      ‘they had begun to kick around the idea of sending a man into space’
      • ‘The book has been kicked about as a film project since the late 1970s - it was once to have been a TV movie starring John Travolta.’
      • ‘For the first time in the band's history, they had problems coming up with something fresh and the more they kicked ideas around or worked them up in concert the less happy they were.’
      • ‘The questions are kicked around by politicians, parents and educationists every August, but the students who take the exams have views too.’
      • ‘The idea for an Office of Homeland Security had been kicked around for years.’
      • ‘It gets scrutinized and argued about and kicked around and analyzed.’
      • ‘Vendors were contacted and ideas were kicked around by all parties (with mixed results).’
      • ‘It would be helpful if we could kick some ideas around on how to meet your goal.’
      • ‘‘These are generally brainstorming sessions where you kick interesting ideas around; you raise issues and discuss issues,’ he said ‘It's a mini think-tank more than anything.’’
      • ‘Chris, Bart, and I have been kicking around the idea of doing a rock opera for four years now.’
      • ‘We've been kicking around ideas for a change in basic format for quite some time now, and our Managing Editor is the driving force behind the entire scheme.’
      discuss, talk over, debate, thrash out, consider, moot, toy with, play with, argue the pros and cons of
      View synonyms
  • kick back

    • Be at leisure; relax:

      ‘he has not been able to kick back and enjoy his success’
      • ‘On our last day, we opted to kick back and enjoy the rustic luxury of our digs at the Idaho Rocky Mountain Ranch.’
      • ‘I'm about to take a week's annual leave starting next week so I'm going to be able to kick back and relax a little.’
      • ‘Instead, I'm going to kick back with a few glasses of red, relax, and enjoy what I have not had in twenty days: a weekend.’
      • ‘After the race, I was able to kick back and enjoy a nice dinner with our family, while Michael was resting up for his race on Sunday.’
      • ‘I don't know why, but sweet ice tea never tastes better than when you're kicking back in a lawn chair, belly full, sleepy eyes drooping as you listen to the band.’
      • ‘Everyone looks forward to a carefree summer and time to kick back on the boat and relax.’
      • ‘The past few months have just been go, go, go and at last I'm getting the chance to kick back and relax.’
      • ‘Picnics are a time to kick back, relax and enjoy tasty, yet easy-to-prepare food with friends.’
      • ‘It's an ideal place to kick back and unwind in one of the most exquisite corners of Scotland.’
      • ‘I was more than ready to kick back and enjoy the simple Sunday brunch.’
      relax, unwind, take it easy, rest, take one's ease, slow down, let up, ease off, ease up, be at leisure, sit back, laze, enjoy oneself
      chill out, hang loose
      View synonyms
  • kick down

    • Change quickly into a lower gear in a car with an automatic transmission by a sudden full depression of the accelerator.

      • ‘I kept thinking the bike was going to stall as the revs dropped, and rather than kicking down a few gears, rolling off the throttle, and using a bit of brake to go around a corner, I had to use the brakes alone to slow me down.’
      • ‘You get the odd hairy moment when coming over a ridge and round a corner at the same time as the car kicks down a gear and opens the throttle to maintain its speed.’
      • ‘However, the transmission has a tendency to kick down into first gear all too easily, which can make progress around town a little jerky.’
  • kick in

    • Come into effect or operation:

      ‘the hospital's emergency generators kicked in’
      • ‘I think the medication is finally kicking in and that was what I was waiting for.’
      • ‘She put her terror to one side as her professional training kicked in and she provided emergency care.’
      • ‘But then you get out there and the adrenaline kicks in and you're away again.’
      • ‘There is a British resilience and pragmatism that kicks in when something like this happens.’
      • ‘If you drive into central London there is a big C painted on the road at the point where the congestion charge kicks in.’
      • ‘That's when my imagination kicks in and I begin to visualise shapes, structures and colours.’
      • ‘The Government will only take on claims after the new enterprise liability scheme kicks in.’
      • ‘When the New Year's resolution to lose weight kicks in, gyms and diet clubs often have a sharp rise in membership.’
      • ‘The top band of council tax kicks in when a house is valued at more than £212,000.’
      • ‘He is soon feeling sick and unhappy as the effects of his high fat diet kick in.’
  • kick something in

    • Contribute something, especially money:

      ‘if you subscribe now we'll kick in a bonus’
      • ‘Both the Soviet Union and the United States were eager to kick in cash and advice.’
      • ‘But if you're willing to kick some money in, his investment choices will widen.’
      • ‘It wasn't a cheap flight, but luckily Sara's parents had kicked in a ton of money.’
      • ‘As private donors kicked in more money, every aspect of the blueprint kept changing.’
      • ‘If you call them soon enough, surety firms might be able to kick in some money to ease cash shortages as well as to share good ideas and offer lots of expertise.’
  • kick off

    • 1(of a football match) be started or resumed by a player kicking the ball from the centre spot:

      ‘World Cup games will kick off in the afternoon’
      • ‘Usually when an FA Cup is played on a Saturday and a TV company wants to show the game live, it kicks off at around 12 noon or 1pm.’
      • ‘The Church of England is allowing clergy to change the time of Sunday's services so they don't clash with the England-Sweden game, which kicks off at 10.30 am.’
      • ‘I actually predicted before the England v France match kicked off that Beckham would retire from International football at the end of the Championship.’
      • ‘City's home match with Huddersfield has been switched to Sunday afternoon to avoid a clash with the Scarborough v Chelsea tie, which kicks off at 12.30 pm on Saturday.’
      • ‘The strike took place just hours before a major European football match was due to kick off.’
      • ‘Our match kicked off at 11.30 the next morning, but we played better and beat Brighton and Hove Albion 1 - 0.’
      • ‘The Ladies' exhibition football match kicks off at the Reebok at 3pm on Sunday.’
      • ‘Football matches in the English Premier and Nationwide leagues kicked off six minutes later than usual yesterday.’
      • ‘The Academy game kicks off at 3.40 pm with the Bulls currently second in the table behind St Helens.’
      • ‘The game kicks off at 2.15 pm to allow spectators and players to watch the televised England v Ireland game.’
      1. 1.1(of a team or player) begin or resume a match by kicking the ball from the centre spot.
        • ‘Their decision comes just three days before the England team kicks off against France as they bid to become Euro 2004 champions in Portugal.’
        • ‘Lancashire captain Andy Farrell kicked off in a game delayed by traffic congestion resulting from bad weather earlier in the evening.’
        • ‘Costa Rica kick off needing a point from this game.’
        • ‘Today's referee, Jeff Winter, gets the game underway with Charlton kicking off.’
        • ‘With the flip of a coin, a decision is made as to who kicks off first at a football game.’
      2. 1.2informal Begin or cause something to begin:
        ‘the festival kicks off on Monday’
        ‘New Hampshire is the state whose presidential primary kicks off the political year’
        • ‘With the Premiership season kicking off on Saturday, football has dominated the news, but there's plenty of other sport out there.’
        • ‘Thousands of people are expected to hit the streets of the East Yorkshire town as the annual event kicks off the countdown to Christmas.’
        • ‘He kicked off the campaign with a radio interview in New Hampshire on October 9.’
        • ‘The programme itself kicks off at noon with interviews and previews of the games to come.’
        • ‘The team kicked off their season in a meeting with Washington State University last Saturday.’
        • ‘Jones was a relative late-starter in professional football when his career kicked off in 1986.’
        • ‘The beer festival kicks off at 7pm on July 29 and tickets are £6.’
        • ‘David Beckham helped to kick off the latest campaign by the United Nations Children's Fund to end all forms of child exploitation.’
        • ‘Bulgaria's new football championship season kicked off last weekend, implementing some interesting changes from past years.’
        • ‘The National Football League kicks off its new season tonight and for the second year in a row the event is being marked with a live concert.’
        start, begin, get going, get off the ground, get under way
        open, start off, set going, set in motion, launch, put in place, initiate, introduce, inaugurate, usher in, start the ball rolling
        get the show on the road
        View synonyms
    • 2Become very angry; suddenly start an argument or fight:

      ‘I don't want her kicking off at me again’
      ‘there aren't many people I can kick off with and then phone up to apologize to’
      ‘people said he was trying to buy drugs off these guys and then it all just kicked off in the street’
      • ‘These yobs started asking her and her mates for a fag and then one of them thumped one of her friends and started to kick off.’
      • ‘He had to be physically restrained after kicking off in the accident and emergency department at Blackburn Royal Infirmary.’
      • ‘Normally, if I'd been delayed by two hours on a train journey, I'd've been kicking off, and grumbling about the state of public transport.’
  • kick on

    • Continue to play or perform well:

      ‘maybe she'll kick on in the sport’
      • ‘Most local experts expect him to kick on with the academy and with whatever AFL side snaps him up.’
      • ‘"I went close to quitting swimming but this has given me the incentive to keep swimming; I'm now determined to kick on for next year's World Championships."’
      • ‘There's something that stirs the heart about his life-threateningly stupid decision to damn the injuries and the pain and to kick on in the hope of playing in the preliminary final.’
      • ‘"Our training will hopefully pay off later on in the season where we will be able to keep kicking on in games, especially the later stages of matches."’
      • ‘The local veteran athlete has kicked on from his success at the Rainbow Masters Games.’
  • kick someone out

    • Expel or dismiss someone:

      ‘as a child he was kicked out of school’
      • ‘When she finally told her parents she was pregnant, she said, her mother threw a stool at her and kicked her out of the house.’
      • ‘As a result of this investigation, Elmo was kicked out of the University.’
      • ‘The implication was clear: ‘Do as I say or you could be kicked out of the country.’’
      • ‘A few hours, and even more pitchers of beer later, we were kicked out of the bar, and stumbled back to our friend's place for some short-lived rest.’
      • ‘It is time for FIFA and Uefa to act by kicking the team out of the world cup and send the clearest signal possible that the football authorities will not tolerate racism.’
      • ‘Teachers, students and school administrators have joined forces to find ways of dealing with troubled students without kicking them out of school.’
      • ‘Those from Switzerland were kicked out of the country for their beliefs and were relocated to Prussia, which is now part of Germany.’
      • ‘Nazia was also afraid that if she said no to her parents, they'd kick her out of the house.’
      • ‘California Republicans detest him, and they're torn between working with him to pass a budget or throwing all their weight behind kicking him out of office.’
      • ‘Military school is where you go after you have been kicked out of at least three boarding schools.’
      expel, send away, eject, turn out, throw out, force out, oust, evict, put out, get rid of
      dismiss, discharge
      chuck out, send packing, boot out, show the door to, give someone their marching orders, throw someone out on their ear, sack, fire, give someone the boot, axe
      give someone the push, give someone the elbow, give someone the big e, bin off, turf out, defenestrate
      give someone the air, give someone the bum's rush
      View synonyms
  • kick up

    • (of the wind) become stronger:

      ‘we were warned that the winds might kick up by mid-morning’
      • ‘The temperature drops, the wind kicks up and the air grows much drier.’
      • ‘She closed her jacket as the wind kicked up, blowing her long auburn hair into her face.’
      • ‘It's been a calm day so far, but now the wind has kicked up.’
      • ‘When the wind kicks up at Presidio Golf Course in San Francisco, where I teach, it's hard just to stand up straight, never mind hit a golf shot.’
      • ‘The wind kicked up, skimming clouds over the surface of the full moon.’
      • ‘Tomorrow came, and though the wind was still kicking up, Floyd told us to get in the plane anyway, but to leave our gear behind.’
      • ‘I was so calm that even though the wind had begun to kick up quite a bit, I went to bed.’
      • ‘We had one heck of a wind storm kick up last night and the 39 degree weather this morning felt like 29.’
      • ‘A wind kicked up and, for a moment, Ford had to shield his eyes from the dust.’
      • ‘In a short time the wind begins to kick up, seas rise to 4 feet, and the men hang on to the slippery deck.’


Late Middle English: of unknown origin.




Main definitions of kick in English

: kick1kick2



  • An indentation in the bottom of a glass bottle, diminishing the internal capacity.


Mid 19th century: of unknown origin.