Definition of kick-start in US English:



[with object]
  • 1Start (an engine on a motorcycle) with a downward thrust of a pedal.

    • ‘The effect of such an influx of capital is similar to kick-starting a motorcycle; it takes that sharp input, it may need more than a single attempt, but once it catches, the engine takes over.’
    • ‘Leaving the commons behind, I kick-started my motorcycle, and rode toward the sliding door of the warehouse.’
    • ‘I grabbed my ski mountaineering gear, he kick-started his enduro bike, and riding double we motorcycled up the jeep trail to snowline on East Maroon Pass.’
    • ‘He told the jogger: ‘I'm off’ and tried to kick-start the motorcycle.’
    • ‘Rae snarled wordlessly and kick-started the bike, the engine noise drowning out her rantings.’
    1. 1.1 Provide the initial impetus to.
      ‘they need to kick-start the economy’
      • ‘Former hospital consultants created the prints to kick-start York Health Services NHS Trust's project to vastly improve services to patients and visitors.’
      • ‘Since last month, BT Wholesale has announced a number of initiatives to kick-start the broadband market in the UK.’
      • ‘The station's redevelopment has been earmarked as a major element in kick-starting the Airedale masterplan proposals.’
      • ‘The bankers on the Mound took the applause from disgruntled shareholders for kick-starting the process that led to the underperforming English bank being taken over by more efficient Scottish operators.’
      • ‘Last week Manchester United relaunched its official website in an attempt to kick-start its hitherto moribund internet operation.’
      • ‘I could see how Andy was on a downward spiral and I think the rejection from us helped kick-start his career.’
      • ‘The prize was conceived to kick-start private space initiatives and space tourism in particular.’
      • ‘Three Ryder Cup team-mates will contest the Madeira Island Open this week, all looking to kick-start their careers.’
      • ‘In a further hint at recovery in the tech sector, Microsoft and Cisco have outlined plans for acquisitions which could kick-start international consolidation.’
      • ‘It has just awarded his Institute for Biological Energy Alternatives $3m to kick-start the project which, he says, will uncover the essence of life.’
      • ‘And the New Swindon Company the organisation charged with kick-starting the renaissance of Swindon town centre has said a change of culture must start now.’
      • ‘‘A lot of people have very ambitious ideas, but almost nobody has the funding to kick-start a global initiative,’ Aylward said.’
      • ‘Other dentists prefer to kick-start the treatment by using a laser to activate the gel in the surgery, with shorter at-home follow-up sessions.’
      • ‘After receiving a grant from Wandsworth Council, the organisation began looking into other community needs and kick-started a number of youth projects for young people living on the estate and in the surrounding area.’
      • ‘Argentina's third president this year has drawn fire for his proposal for a new floating currency which he hopes will kick-start consumer spending but which some fear could quickly become worthless.’
      • ‘The project organisers also recommend kick-starting the venture by demise chartering six longline vessels under government's current fishing policy.’
      • ‘There is a major story subplot that I have not mentioned, which truly kick-starts the emotional journey for all of our characters.’
      • ‘More than 200 gay men from across North America arrived at a remote Arizona oasis by summer's end, kick-starting an international movement that flourishes to this day.’
      • ‘And that breakfast (a first ever in my adult life) kick-starts my metabolism in the morning and keeps me satiated longer.’
      • ‘Do you credit Jeremy's departure with kick-starting the process?’
      revive, revitalize, renew, regenerate, restore, breathe new life into, make someone feel young again, revivify, reanimate, resuscitate, refresh, reawaken, rekindle, put new life into, put new heart into, add some zest to, put some spark into, uplift
      View synonyms


  • 1A device to start an engine by the downward thrust of a pedal, as in older motorcycles.

    • ‘I rotated the kick-start to see if the motor was seized. I got it down smoothly to the point where it would start to rotate the motor, and then nothing.’
    • ‘When the engine is off and the bike is in gear I squeeze the clutch and then pump the kick-start and the bike moves.’
    advantageous beginning, flying start, opening, opportunity, chance, helping hand, encouragement, lift, assistance, support, boost, kick-start
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 An act of starting an engine by the downward thrust of a pedal.
    2. 1.2 An impetus given to get a process or thing started or restarted.
      ‘new investment will provide the kick-start needed to escape from recession’
      • ‘The buddy picture genre gets a kick-start by pairing up a homicide cop and a fire marshal to solve the case.’
      • ‘Upgrading of PCs should theoretically provide a kick-start for the PC producers, good solid but low margin business.’
      • ‘As a kick-start to a Battle of the Bands competition, it is at least a curiosity.’
      • ‘All that is needed now is for the action on the field to begin, and this evening it was given a kick-start.’
      • ‘What is it that gets Auckland out of its summer stupor and provides a kick-start for the new year?’
      • ‘The Irish film industry is not doing good at the moment and it does need a kick-start.’
      • ‘Children in Need has become a supporter and is giving them a kick-start in replacing worn out equipment with a grant of £2,661.’
      • ‘This handy volume gets a kick-start with the lecture ‘What is a Classic?’’
      • ‘It was the police overreaction that gave the student struggle its kick-start and helped launch over a year of action.’
      • ‘It can be a great kick-start into a transformation that will motivate her to adopt an active, healthy lifestyle.’
      • ‘Locally made and produced goods will also appear more attractive to foreign buyers and this could give a kick-start to some ailing British industries, like the motor manufacturers.’
      • ‘He didn't have all that much to do but I was pleased at the way he was coming off his line and hopefully that will provide a big kick-start for his confidence.’
      • ‘Furthermore, this will meet expressed criteria for good public accessibility as well as giving a much-needed kick-start to the apparently stalled Vision for Trowbridge.’
      • ‘A kick-start for a programme like this, which is enormous in size, was the only way to get it off the ground.’
      • ‘It was a good tournament, a kick-start for the national team doing well in 1994.’
      • ‘I did have one solitary experience with Ms. Reynolds before our relationship started to grow and my life got a huge kick-start in its already progressing downward spiral.’
      • ‘Several others found his or her way into the busy shop in order to purchase their Frappacino manacles in order to give them a daily kick-start.’
      • ‘We need a win and knocking off the Hawks could be a real kick-start to our season!’
      • ‘They needed a sharp kick-start to help recruiting.’
      • ‘The party needs a kick-start of some description.’