Definition of kibosh
: something that serves as a check or stop <put the kibosh on that>
Did You Know?
For a century kibosh has taxed the ingenuity of etymologists. It was prominent enough in lower-class London speech to attract the attention of Charles Dickens, who used it in 1836 in an early sketch, but little else is certain. Claims were once made that it was Yiddish, despite the absence of a plausible Yiddish source. Another hypothesis points to Irish caidhp bhais, literally, "coif (or cap) of death," explained as headgear a judge put on when pronouncing a death sentence, or as a covering pulled over the face of a corpse when a coffin was closed. But evidence for any metaphorical use of this phrase in Irish is lacking, and kibosh is not recorded in English as spoken in Ireland until decades after Dickens' use.
Origin of kibosh
First Known Use: 1836
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