• synonyms


  1. a person or thing that kicks.
  2. Informal.
    1. a disadvantageous point or circumstance, usually concealed or unnoticed: The tickets are free, but the kicker is that you have to wait in line for hours to get them.
    2. a surprising change or turn of events: The kicker was that their friends knew it before they did.
  3. something extra, as an additional cost or gain; an added expense or financial incentive.
  4. Draw Poker. a card, usually an ace or face card, held with a pair or three of a kind in the hope of drawing a matching card.
  5. (in concrete construction) a low plinth at the base of a column.
  6. kickers, Slang. shoes, especially leisure shoes.
  7. Nautical.
    1. a small, low-powered outboard motor.
    2. an auxiliary engine on a sailing vessel, river steamer, etc.
  8. Slang. the alcoholic liquor in a mixed drink.
  9. Also called eyebrow, highline, overline, teaser. Printing, Journalism. a short line of copy set in a distinctive type above a headline and intended to call attention to it.
  10. Metallurgy. a charge of high-carbon iron that produces a vigorous boil when charged into an open-hearth furnace containing slag and molten metal of lower carbon content.
  11. Also called kicker light. Photography. a light source coming from the back and side of a subject and producing a highlight.
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Origin of kicker

First recorded in 1565–75; kick + -er1
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for kickers

stratagem, artifice, fixture, twist, catch, jest, fake, gimmick, sport, deceit, counterfeit, ploy, instrument, secret, gizmo, method, imposture, dodge, maneuver, widget

Examples from the Web for kickers

Historical Examples of kickers

  • When any one of them reacts, it trips the kickers and we emerge.

    Masters of Space

    Edward Elmer Smith

  • If any appeal from the agent's decisions, they are "kickers" and "insubordinate."

    The Indian Today

    Charles A. Eastman

  • Three of these watches were genuine tickers; the rest were only kickers.

  • Kickers, as I have already said, should never be taken into any hunting field.

    The Horsewoman

    Alice M. Hayes

  • "This for you," and he brought the bucket perilously near one of the Kickers' heads.

    My Life

    Josiah Flynt

British Dictionary definitions for kickers


  1. a person or thing that kicks
  2. sport a player in a rugby or occasionally a soccer team whose task is to attempt to kick conversions, penalty goals, etc
  3. US and Canadian slang a hidden and disadvantageous factor, such as a clause in a contract
  4. informal any light outboard motor for propelling a boat
  5. poker the highest unpaired card in a hand, used to decide the outcome of an otherwise tied round
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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

Word Origin and History for kickers



1570s, agent noun from kick (v.).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper