[ kik-bak ]
See synonyms for kickback on
  1. 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.

  2. a rebate, usually given secretively by a seller to a buyer or to one who influenced the buyer.

  1. the practice of an employer or a person in a supervisory position of taking back a portion of the wages due workers.

  2. a response, usually vigorous.

  3. 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

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

Other words from kickback

  • an·ti·kick·back, adjective

Words Nearby kickback Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use kickback in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for kickback


/ (ˈkɪkˌbæk) /

  1. a strong reaction

  2. part of an income paid to a person having influence over the size or payment of the income, esp by some illegal arrangement

verbkick back (adverb)
  1. (intr) to have a strong reaction

  2. (intr) (esp of a gun) to recoil

  1. 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


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

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