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.

Origin of kicker

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

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
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.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper