[ kik ]
See synonyms for kick on
verb (used with object)
  1. to strike with the foot or feet: to kick the ball; to kick someone in the shins.

  2. to drive, force, make, etc., by or as if by kicks.

  1. Football. to score (a field goal or a conversion) by place-kicking or drop-kicking the ball.

  2. Informal. to make (a car) increase in speed, especially in auto racing: He kicked his car into high gear.

  3. to strike in recoiling: The gun kicked his shoulder.

  4. Slang. to give up or break (a drug addiction): Has he kicked the habit?

  5. Chiefly South Atlantic States. to reject as a suitor; jilt: He courted her for two years—then she kicked him.

verb (used without object)
  1. to make a rapid, forceful thrust with the foot or feet: He kicked at the ball. You have to kick rapidly when using a crawl stroke.

  2. to have a tendency to strike with the foot or feet: That horse kicks when you walk into his stall.

  1. Informal. to resist, object, or complain: What's he got to kick about?

  2. to recoil, as a firearm when fired.

  3. to be actively or vigorously involved: He's still alive and kicking.

  1. the act of kicking; a blow or thrust with the foot or feet.

  2. power or disposition to kick: That horse has a mean kick.

  1. Informal. an objection or complaint.

  2. Informal.

    • thrill; pleasurable excitement: His biggest kick comes from telling about the victory.

    • a strong but temporary interest, often an activity: Making mobiles is his latest kick.

  3. Informal.

    • a stimulating or intoxicating quality in alcoholic drink.

    • vim, vigor, or energy.

  4. Football.

    • an instance of kicking the ball.

    • any method of kicking the ball: place kick.

    • a kicked ball.

    • the distance such a ball travels.

    • a turn at kicking the ball.

  5. a recoil, as of a gun.

  6. Slang. a pocket: He kept his wallet in his side kick.

  7. kicks, Slang. shoe (def. 1).

  8. Glassmaking.

    • a solid glass base or an indentation at the base of drinking glasses, bottles, etc., that reduces the liquid capacity of the glassware.

    • Also called punt, kick-up . an indentation at the base of a wine bottle, originally for trapping the sediment.

Verb Phrases
  1. kick about, to move from place to place frequently: He kicked about a good deal before settling down.

  2. kick around, Informal.

    • to treat (someone) harshly or inconsiderately.

    • to consider, discuss, or speculate about (a proposal, project, etc.): We kicked around various ideas for raising money.

    • to experiment with.

    • to pass time idly; wander from place to place aimlessly: We just kicked around for a year after college.

    • to remain unused, unemployed, or unnoticed: The script has been kicking around for years.

  1. kick back,

    • to recoil, especially vigorously or unexpectedly.

    • Informal. to give someone a kickback.

    • Slang. to return (stolen property, money, etc.) to the owner.

    • to relax: Let's just kick back and enjoy the weekend.

  2. kick in,

    • to contribute one's share, especially in money.

    • Slang. to die.

    • to become operational; activate; go into effect: The air conditioning kicks in when the temperature reaches 80°F.

  3. kick off,

    • Football. to begin play or begin play again by a kickoff: The Giants won the toss and elected to kick off.

    • Slang. to die.

    • to initiate (an undertaking, meeting, etc.); begin: A rally tomorrow night will kick off the campaign.

  4. kick on, to switch on; turn on: He kicked on the motor and we began to move.

  5. kick out, Informal.

    • to oust or eject: They have been kicked out of the country club.

    • to fail; give out: The power kicked out and the room went black.

    • to separate off, as for review or inspection: The computer kicked out the information in a split second.

    • Surfing. to turn a surfboard by shifting the weight to the rear, causing the surfboard to come down over the top of a wave, in order to stop a ride.

  6. kick over, Informal. (of an internal-combustion engine) to begin ignition; turn over: The engine kicked over a few times but we couldn't get it started.

  7. kick up,

    • to drive or force upward by kicking.

    • to stir up (trouble); make or cause (a disturbance, scene, etc.): They kicked up a tremendous row.

    • (especially of a machine part) to move rapidly upward: The lever kicks up, engaging the gear.

Idioms about kick

  1. kick ass, Slang: Vulgar. : Also Slang, kick butt .

    • to act harshly or use force in order to gain a desired result.

    • to defeat soundly.

  2. kick in the ass, Slang: Vulgar. kick (def. 35a).

  1. kick in the pants, Informal.

    • someone or something that is very exciting, enjoyable, amusing, etc.: I think you'll like her, she's a real kick in the pants.

  2. kick in the teeth, an abrupt, often humiliating setback; rebuff: Her refusal even to talk to me was a kick in the teeth.

  3. kick over the traces. trace2 (def. 3).

  4. kick the bucket, Slang. bucket (def. 15).

  5. kick the tin, Australian. to give a donation; contribute.

  6. kick upstairs. upstairs (def. 8).

Origin of kick

1350–1400; Middle English kiken (v.); origin uncertain

Other words for kick

Other words from kick

  • kick·a·ble, adjective
  • kickless, adjective
  • outkick, verb (used with object)
  • o·ver·kick, verb (used with object) Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use kick in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for kick


/ (kɪk) /

  1. (tr) to drive or impel with the foot

  2. (tr) to hit with the foot or feet

  1. (intr) to strike out or thrash about with the feet, as in fighting or swimming

  2. (intr) to raise a leg high, as in dancing

  3. (of a gun, etc) to recoil or strike in recoiling when fired

  4. (tr) rugby

    • to make (a conversion or a drop goal) by means of a kick

    • to score (a goal) by means of a kicked conversion

  5. (tr) soccer to score (a goal) by a kick

  6. (intr) athletics to put on a sudden spurt

  7. (intr) to make a sudden violent movement

  8. (intr) cricket (of a ball) to rear up sharply

  9. (intr sometimes foll by against) informal to object or resist

  10. (intr) informal to be active and in good health (esp in the phrase alive and kicking)

  11. informal to change gear in (a car, esp a racing car): he kicked into third and passed the bigger car

  12. (tr) informal to free oneself of (an addiction, etc): to kick heroin; to kick the habit

  13. kick against the pricks See prick (def. 20)

  14. kick into touch

    • rugby soccer to kick the ball out of the playing area and into touch: See touch (def. 15)

    • informal to take some temporizing action so that a problem is shelved or a decision postponed

  15. kick one's heels to wait or be kept waiting

  16. kick over the traces See trace 2 (def. 3)

  17. kick the bucket slang to die

  18. kick up one's heels informal to enjoy oneself without inhibition

  1. a thrust or blow with the foot

  2. any of certain rhythmic leg movements used in swimming

  1. the recoil of a gun or other firearm

  2. informal a stimulating or exciting quality or effect (esp in the phrases get a kick out of or for kicks)

  3. athletics a sudden spurt, acceleration, or boost

  4. a sudden violent movement

  5. informal the sudden stimulating or intoxicating effect of strong alcoholic drink or certain drugs

  6. informal power or force

  7. slang a temporary enthusiasm: he's on a new kick every week

  8. kick in the pants slang

    • a reprimand or scolding designed to produce greater effort, enthusiasm, etc, in the person receiving it

    • a setback or disappointment

  9. kick in the teeth slang a humiliating rebuff

Origin of kick

C14 kiken, perhaps of Scandinavian origin

Derived forms of kick

  • kickable, adjective

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 kick


In addition to the idioms beginning with kick

  • kick a habit
  • kick around
  • kick ass
  • kick back
  • kick in
  • kick in the pants, a
  • kick it
  • kick off
  • kick oneself
  • kick out
  • kick over the traces
  • kick the bucket
  • kick the habit
  • kick up
  • kick up a fuss
  • kick up one's heels
  • kick upstairs

also see:

  • alive and kicking
  • for fun (kicks)
  • get a bang (kick) out of

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