There are 2 main definitions of kick in English:

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Syllabification: kick


1 [with object] Strike or propel forcibly with the foot: police kicked down the door he kicked the door open
More example sentences
  • The appeal follows a recent spate of vandalism where bins have been set alight, plant pots have been kicked over and garden furniture damaged.
  • When he reached the bedroom, he kicked the door open with his foot.
  • Caine kicked the door open and hauled them both inside.
boot, punt, drop-kick
informal hoof
1.1 [no object] Strike out or flail with the foot or feet: she kicked out at him [with object and complement]: he kicked his feet free of a vine
More example sentences
  • Hoyle and Bruce were spoken to by the referee after an altercation in midfield, but following the free kick Bruce kicked out at Hoyle in the penalty area.
  • One horse kicked out at him causing fatal injuries.
  • Once inside the car, he kicked out at the interior door panels and windows, as well as spitting in the face of another police officer.
1.2 (kick oneself) Be annoyed with oneself for doing something foolish or missing an opportunity.
Example sentences
  • We were really kicking ourselves afterwards at having missed such a golden opportunity.
  • Every broadcaster is moving to those bigger pictures, and you will soon be kicking yourself if you buy a set that has the old screen shape, unless it's a portable for the bedroom.
  • If you miss this show you'll be kicking yourself all winter.
1.3(In football, rugby, etc.) score (a goal) by a kick.
Example sentences
  • Barking scored a penalty before Dave Lewis kicked a drop goal a minute later to put them 16-9 ahead.
  • Johnny Moroney, who played on the left wing, scored 14 points, kicking goals as well as scoring a try.
  • He not only kicked goals and engineered a string of openings but also scored the crucial opening try.
2 [with object] informal Succeed in giving up (a habit or addiction).
Example sentences
  • Some people have said it's easier to withdraw from heroin than to kick the tobacco habit.
  • A cocaine vaccine developed by a UK pharmaceutical company could help cocaine addicts kick their habit.
  • It's National No-Smoking Day on Wednesday, a day when millions of tobacco addicts try to kick their unpleasant habit.
give up, break, abandon, end, stop, cease, desist from, renounce
informal shake, pack in, leave off, quit
3 [no object] (Of a gun) recoil when fired.
Example sentences
  • The gun kicked so hard, Bethany smacked herself in the forehead.
  • You expect very small, very powerful guns to kick hard enough to hurt you.
  • The rifle kicked against his shoulder and the thundering of musket fire grew louder.


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1A blow or forceful thrust with the foot: a kick in the head
More example sentences
  • But when the paramedics tried to leave, two youths attacked them, raining kicks and blows down on their heads and ribs.
  • Zhao said she fell to her knees, and then felt repeated kicks or blows to both sides of her head.
  • A more probable explanation for some injuries was that they were caused by blows and kicks.
1.1(In sports) an instance of striking the ball with the foot: Ball blasted the kick wide
More example sentences
  • Wharfedale had chance to go ahead with a penalty but the kick was wide of the posts.
  • The kick drifted wide of the posts and the visitors' place in the final was secured after a game that neither side deserved to lose.
  • The kick again slid wide, but at 24-18 the game was well and truly alive again.
2A sudden forceful jolt: the shuttle accelerated with a kick
More example sentences
  • There is a sudden kick on the rod and yes, it is indeed a fish, a perch that stays deep for several minutes before, slowly, it begins to swim to the surface.
  • There was a sudden mighty kick, like a giant was shaking the ship, and Lazarus could feel his insides trembling.
  • As I looked outside, I realized we were accelerating, but there was no associated kick.
2.1The recoil of a gun when discharged.
Example sentences
  • He felt the kick of the sniper rifle in his hands.
  • Many recruits were worried about the kick of a rifle.
  • She could see that he hadn't been lying when he had mentioned the gun's vicious kick; some of the students were unprepared and flinched backwards on impact.
3 [in singular] informal The sharp stimulant effect of something, especially alcohol.
Example sentences
  • Cannabis is often an intermediary drug, used before the user moves onto harder drugs, when the kick of cannabis wears off.
  • It comes in twelve different fruit flavours and the alcoholic kick is provided by schnapps.
  • It tastes like watered down barley water with a bit of an alcoholic kick.
potency, stimulant effect, strength, power;
tang, zest, bite, piquancy, edge, pungency
informal punch
3.1A thrill of pleasurable, often reckless excitement: rich kids turning to crime just for kicks I get such a kick out of driving a race car
More example sentences
  • She has a 15-year-old son who goes to Orchard Park, where teenagers were photographed sniffing petrol for kicks.
  • Extra undercover officers will patrol city estates in a bid to curb the antics of youngsters who steal cars for kicks or take them for use in other crimes and then burn them out.
  • He denied that pupils at his school were taking horse tranquillisers for kicks or that they were less than communicative because of their drug habits.
fun, enjoyment, amusement, pleasure, gratification
informal buzz, high, rush, charge
3.2 [with modifier] A specified temporary interest or enthusiasm: the jogging kick
More example sentences
  • Lately I have been back on the self-examination kick.
  • It's part of the whole nostalgia kick, I suspect.
  • The last couple of years I've been on a big Motown kick.
craze, enthusiasm, obsession, mania, passion;
informal fad
4 (kicks) informal , chiefly US Soft sports shoes; sneakers: when your energy or motivation dips, a new pair of kicks can get you moving again
More example sentences
  • Worn-out soles will wear out your knees: replace them or pick up a new pair of kicks.
  • I never knew his name, we just called him "boots" after the Western kicks he wore always.
  • The Nets all wore black socks and black kicks last night.


late Middle English: of unknown origin.


kick (some) ass (or butt)

North American vulgar slang Act in a forceful or aggressive manner.

kick someone's ass (or butt)

North American vulgar slang Beat, dominate, or defeat someone.

kick the bucket

informal Die.
Example sentences
  • He wanted to do his own thing and he wanted to do it now - not down the track when his father finally kicked the bucket.
  • But in spite of the fact, when he kicks the bucket and departs his mortal coil, it is going to be one of the biggest funerals in the Bahamas.
  • Even though the British Empire had long since kicked the bucket, the expats could still be found pretty much anywhere the Brits had a former colony.

kick the can down the road

informal , chiefly US Put off confronting a difficult issue or making an important decision, typically on a continuing basis: I appreciate that he doesn’t want to raise taxes, but sooner or later you have to stop kicking the can down the road
More example sentences
  • "It kicks the can down the road for a slight amount of time," Mr. Stone said.
  • In politics there is always a temptation to kick the can down the road and hope that problems might disappear.
  • For our part, we would greatly prefer to deal with the adjustments that are necessary for robust economic growth, rather than just kicking the can down the road.

a kick in the pants (or up the backside)

informal An unwelcome surprise that prompts or forces fresh effort: the competition will be healthy, but we needed a kick in the pants
More example sentences
  • He is a very good coach in every respect, the first guy to give you a kick up the backside but also the first to give you a pat on the back when he feels you deserve it.
  • Today, if I was the president, I would dismiss the coach and line the players up against a wall and give them all a kick up the backside.
  • Stuttgart gave me a kick up the backside, and I re-focused and came out better last year - it was what I needed.

a kick in the teeth

informal A grave setback or disappointment: this broken promise is a kick in the teeth for football
More example sentences
  • The chairman described the council's decision to reject the scheme as a kick in the teeth.
  • We are trying to improve the facilities all the time and make the ground more presentable and this sort of thing is just a kick in the teeth.
  • This is a kick in the teeth for the people of Salford and an outrageous waste of taxpayers' money.

kick someone in the teeth

informal Cause someone a grave setback or disappointment.
Example sentences
  • You think you're going in the right direction and then a performance like that really kicks you in the teeth so all the lads were very disappointed and so were the staff.
  • Jamie Johnstone said staff felt like they had been kicked in the teeth after all their hard work building up the business.
  • Scotland have an uncanny knack of finding heartbreaking ways of exiting tournaments, of getting the nation's hopes up before kicking them in the teeth.

kick someone/something to the curb

North American informal Reject someone or something: things get complicated for Alfie when he’s kicked to the curb by his girlfriend
More example sentences
  • Not a lot has changed in the battle of the sexes guy meets girl, girl kicks guy to the curb, his self-esteem crushed.
  • Guy meets girl, girl kicks guy to the curb.
  • Guy meets girl, girl kicks guy to the curb, his self-esteem, crushed.

kick someone when they are down

Cause further misfortune to someone who is already in a difficult situation.
Example sentences
  • And there is no honor in kicking somebody when they are down.
  • It's not fair to kick someone when they are down when nothing is proven.
  • Talk about kicking someone when they are down.

kick up a fuss (or a stink)

informal Object loudly or publicly to something.
Example sentences
  • It is the liberal elite, not the public, that kicks up a fuss about gay MPs.
  • So if you disapprove of this approach to public artworks, now is the time to start kicking up a stink.
  • If he kicks up a fuss, you know there's more to the relationship than meets the eye.

kick up one's heels

see heel1.

kick someone upstairs

informal Remove someone from an influential position in a business by giving them an ostensible promotion.
Example sentences
  • Clifford removed General William Westmoreland as Vietnam commander, kicking him upstairs to become Army chief of staff and replacing him with General Creighton Abrams.
  • In March, he was kicked upstairs to head the World Bank.
  • Gromyko had been one of Gorbachev's supporters and he was kicked upstairs to become head of state.

Phrasal verbs

kick against

Express resentment at or frustration with (an institution or restriction).
Example sentences
  • Working in television provided him with training, a secure job and an establishment to kick against, and he remains grateful for all of this.
  • Sheffield always kicks against the national trend and one thing I discovered over the years is that just because something happened nationally does not mean it is going to happen in Sheffield.
  • Inevitably, self-obsessed Gwen kicks against the system, until learning lessons the hard way.

kick around (or about)

(Of a thing) lie unwanted or unexploited: the idea has been kicking around for more than a year now
More example sentences
  • Those pics are nearly 10 years old, they were kicking about on the net months ago.
  • Working in a bank, it's odd to see that people still have old notes and coins kicking about which they bring in from time to time to exchange.
  • That debate's been kicking around for decades now.
2.1(Of a person) drift idly from place to place: I kicked around picking up odd jobs
More example sentences
  • It is a second career for both of them: trained in horticulture, the Whittles went abroad in their late twenties, kicking around for five years before settling down on Vancouver Island, Canada.
  • Kelly Willis has kicked around record labels nearly as much as her family kicked around the country while she was growing up.
  • Meantime, he kicks around 13th Street, living in an apartment above the newsstand.

kick someone around (or about)

Treat someone roughly or without respect.
Example sentences
  • Why are conservative pundits still kicking him around?
  • Four armed men forced him out of the car, put a bag over his head after kicking him around and threw him into a minivan.
  • But 10 days ago a pitiless thug broke into her home, kicked her around like a football and stole her life savings.
abuse, mistreat, maltreat, push around, trample on, take for granted
informal boss around, walk all over

kick something around (or about)

Discuss an idea casually or idly.
Example sentences
  • ‘These are generally brainstorming sessions where you kick interesting ideas around; you raise issues and discuss issues,’ he said ‘It's a mini think-tank more than anything.’
  • For the first time in the band's history, they had problems coming up with something fresh and the more they kicked ideas around or worked them up in concert the less happy they were.
  • It would be helpful if we could kick some ideas around on how to meet your goal.
discuss, talk over, debate, thrash out, consider, toy with, play with

kick back

North American informal Be at leisure; relax.
Example sentences
  • I'm about to take a week's annual leave starting next week so I'm going to be able to kick back and relax a little.
  • Picnics are a time to kick back, relax and enjoy tasty, yet easy-to-prepare food with friends.
  • The past few months have just been go, go, go and at last I'm getting the chance to kick back and relax.
relax, unwind, take it easy, rest, slow down, let up, ease up/off, sit back, chill (out), chillax, hang loose

kick in

(Especially of a device or drug) become activated; come into effect.
Example sentences
  • I think the medication is finally kicking in and that was what I was waiting for.
  • She put her terror to one side as her professional training kicked in and she provided emergency care.
  • He is soon feeling sick and unhappy as the effects of his high fat diet kick in.

kick something in

North American informal Contribute something, especially money: if you subscribe now we’ll kick in a bonus
More example sentences
  • But if you're willing to kick some money in, his investment choices will widen.
  • It wasn't a cheap flight, but luckily Sara's parents had kicked in a ton of money.
  • As private donors kicked in more money, every aspect of the blueprint kept changing.

kick off

(Of a football game, soccer game, etc.) be started or resumed after a score by a player kicking the ball from a designated spot.
Example sentences
  • The Ladies' exhibition football match kicks off at the Reebok at 3pm on Sunday.
  • I actually predicted before the England v France match kicked off that Beckham would retire from International football at the end of the Championship.
  • Usually when an FA Cup is played on a Saturday and a TV company wants to show the game live, it kicks off at around 12 noon or 1pm.
8.1(Of a team or player) begin or resume a game by a player kicking a ball from a designated spot.
Example sentences
  • Their decision comes just three days before the England team kicks off against France as they bid to become Euro 2004 champions in Portugal.
  • Lancashire captain Andy Farrell kicked off in a game delayed by traffic congestion resulting from bad weather earlier in the evening.
  • Costa Rica kick off needing a point from this game.
informal 8.1 (Of an event) begin.
Example sentences
  • Bulgaria's new football championship season kicked off last weekend, implementing some interesting changes from past years.
  • He kicked off the campaign with a radio interview in New Hampshire on October 9.
  • The programme itself kicks off at noon with interviews and previews of the games to come.
start, commence, begin, get going, get off the ground, get underway;
open, start off, set in motion, launch, initiate, introduce, inaugurate, usher in

kick something off

1Remove something, especially shoes, by striking out vigorously with the foot or feet.
Example sentences
  • Every few years we are allowed to have a kick at the can to actually choose which privileged bastard will rule us.
  • Since 1967, all three major parties have had a kick at the can.
  • The loft spaces are now condos, the families sold up and moved on, and new people are having a kick at the can selling different things to a different neighborhood.
2 informal Begin something: the presidential primary kicks off the political year
More example sentences
  • However he will be kicking it off at the very first eDance event, with just as much of a passion.
  • A good way to get it out there is to have something with a punch that kicks it off and gets it going - gets it out of the lab and into the world.

kick someone out

informal Expel or dismiss someone.
Example sentences
  • As a result of this investigation, Elmo was kicked out of the University.
  • Teachers, students and school administrators have joined forces to find ways of dealing with troubled students without kicking them out of school.
  • It is time for FIFA and Uefa to act by kicking the team out of the world cup and send the clearest signal possible that the football authorities will not tolerate racism.
expel, eject, banish, exile, throw out, oust, evict, get rid of, ax;
informal chuck (out), send packing, boot out, give someone their marching orders, give someone their walking papers, give someone the gate, give someone the (old) heave-ho, sack, bounce, fire, give someone the bum's rush



Example sentences
  • In all, he missed three kickable penalties and a drop goal.
  • A good break by hooker Pat Humphries ultimately left Shane Ryan with the chance to drop at goal but he pushed a very kickable chance well wide.
  • O'Carroll was unfortunate in missing two penalties from very kickable positions and these were to prove costly at the end of the game.

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There are 2 main definitions of kick in English:

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Syllabification: kick


An indentation in the bottom of a glass bottle, diminishing the internal capacity.


mid 19th century: of unknown origin.

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