[ kik-bak ]
/ ˈkɪkˌbæk /
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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.
In effect, this quiz will prove whether or not you have the skills to know the difference between “affect” and “effect.”
Question 1 of 7
The rainy weather could not ________ my elated spirits on my graduation day.
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Origin of kickback

1930–35, Americanism; noun use of verb phrase kick back


an·ti·kick·back, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2022

How to use kickback in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for kickback

/ (ˈkɪkˌbæk) /

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
verb kick back (adverb)
(intr) to have a strong reaction
(intr) (esp of a gun) to recoil
to pay a kickback to (someone)
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Other Idioms and Phrases with kickback

kick back


Recoil unexpectedly and violently, as in This rifle kicks back a lot when you fire it. [Early 1800s]


Return stolen property to the owner, as in The pawnbroker kicked back the paintings to the gallery. [Colloquial; first half of 1900s]


Pay back a part of one's earnings, as in The workers were forced to kick back half their pay to the agent. [Colloquial; first half of 1900s]

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.