- a percentage of income given to a person in a position of power or influence as payment for having made the income possible: usually considered improper or unethical.
- a rebate, usually given secretively by a seller to a buyer or to one who influenced the buyer.
- the practice of an employer or a person in a supervisory position of taking back a portion of the wages due workers.
- a response, usually vigorous.
- a sudden, uncontrolled movement of a machine, tool, or other device, as on starting or in striking an obstruction: A kickback from a chain saw can be dangerous.
Origin of kickback
- a strong reaction
- part of an income paid to a person having influence over the size or payment of the income, esp by some illegal arrangement
- (intr) to have a strong reaction
- (intr) (esp of a gun) to recoil
- to pay a kickback to (someone)
also kick-back, c.1900 in various mechanical senses, from kick (v.) + back (adv.). By 1926 in a slang sense of "be forced to return pelf, pay back to victims," which was extended to illegal partial give-backs of government-set wages that were extorted from workers by employers. Hence sense of "illegal or improper payment" (1932).