\ˈkik \
kicked; kicking; kicks

Definition of kick 

(Entry 1 of 2)

intransitive verb

1a : to strike out with the foot or feet

b : to make a kick in football

2a : to show opposition : resist, rebel

b : to protest strenuously or urgently : express grave discontent broadly : complain

3 : to function with vitality and energy alive and kicking

4 of a firearm : to recoil when fired

5 : to go from one place to another as circumstance or whim dictates

6 : to run at a faster speed during the last part of a race

transitive verb

1a : to strike, thrust, or hit with the foot

b : to strike suddenly and forcefully as if with the foot

c : to remove by a kicking motion kicked off her shoes

d : to remove from a position or status kicked him off the team

2 : to score by kicking a ball

3 : to heap reproaches upon (oneself) kicked themselves for not going

4 : to free oneself of (something, such as a drug habit)

kick ass

often vulgar : to kick butt

kick butt

: to use forceful or coercive measures in order to achieve a purpose also : to succeed or win overwhelmingly

kick over the traces

: to cast off restraint, authority, or control

kick the bucket

: die

kick up one's heels

1 : to show sudden delight

2 : to have a lively time

kick upstairs

: to promote to a higher but less desirable position



Definition of kick (Entry 2 of 2)

1a : a blow or sudden forceful thrust with the foot specifically : a sudden propelling of a ball with the foot

b : the power to kick

c : a rhythmic motion of the legs used in swimming

d : a burst of speed in racing

2 : a sudden forceful jolt or thrust suggesting a kick especially : the recoil of a gun

3 : pocket, wallet

4a : a feeling or expression of opposition or objection a kick against the administration

b : the grounds for objection

5a : an effect suggestive of a kick chili with a kick

b : a stimulating or pleasurable effect or experience got a big kick out of meeting him

c : pursuit of an absorbing or obsessive new interest a skiing kick

7 kicks plural, US slang : shoes or sneakers … nothing draws more attention to a rare pair of kicks than the cuffed hem of slim sweats.— Steve Dool

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Other Words from kick


kickable \ˈki-kə-bəl \ adjective

Examples of kick in a Sentence


The attacker kicked him in the stomach. She lost her temper and kicked over the box. He kicked the ball into the goal. She kicked the ball to me. The policeman kicked the door open. The baby kicked his legs in the air. The swimming instructor reminded the children to kick their legs as they swam. The baby kicked with pleasure. He kicked the winning field goal. When he was 25, he kicked his cocaine habit and went back to school.


He gave me a kick in the leg. If you give the machine a little kick, it should start working again. a long kick in football
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The annual SharonFest, kicking off July 28, is a party with a purpose. Jennie Key,, "SharonFest 2017, the party with a purpose, kicks off July 28," 20 July 2017 Indianapolis kicks off its four-game preseason schedule on Aug. 13 against the Detroit Lions. Mark Inabinett,, "Ryan Kelly looking forward to second NFL season at center of Indianapolis Colts' offensive line," 18 July 2017 That would explain why Peter Dinklage kicked off this season in total silence. Joanna Robinson, HWD, "Game of Thrones Showrunners Explain Daenerys’s Odd, Silent Arrival," 16 July 2017 FCKC ORL Shots 7 25 Shots on goal 3 11 Saves 7 2 Corner kicks3 8 Fouls 5 10 Offsides 3 0 YELLOW CARDS Kansas City: Gibbons, 88th. kansascity, "FC Kansas City summary for July 15," 15 July 2017 Moving the cattle somewhere else to avoid conflict if wolves show up — or kicking them off the national forest altogether, as some critics would like — isn’t so simple. Lynda V. Mapes, The Seattle Times, "With cattle in Washington’s wolf country, ranchers work and worry," 14 July 2017 On a makeshift kickball field on the National Mall, Jacquelyn Keenan cheered as one of her teammates kicked a rubber ball into the air and sprinted for first base. Jim Rendon, New York Times, "In Social Sports, It’s About Camaraderie, Not Competition," 14 July 2017 Baseball's annual swap-o-rama got underway Thursday as the Cubs and White Sox kicked off the traditional shuffling of prospects for potential game-changers. Paul Sullivan,, "Buyers, sellers and more: What to watch for in second half of MLB season," 13 July 2017 Others pointed out that members of Congress have been scolded too, as when Representative Bobby Rush was kicked off the floor for wearing a hoodie to honor Trayvon Martin. David A. Graham, The Atlantic, "Why Bogus News Stories Are So Hard to Stop," 13 July 2017

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

England trailed 3-2 in the penalty shootout after Jordan Henderson's shot was saved, but Mateus Uribe hit the bar and goalkeeper Jordan Pickford then saved Carlos Bacca's kick. Fox News, "England break World Cup shootout jinx, advance to quarterfinals," 3 July 2018 But European allies are anxious about a potential rerun of what was portrayed as a kick-the-allies-then-fete-an-adversary performance by the American president. Howard Lafranchi, The Christian Science Monitor, "Backdrop for Putin summit: A pattern of Trump disrespecting allies?," 2 July 2018 That’s not to say that a game lacking in historic beefs or bad blood can’t turn into a 5-4 classic with flying saves, red cards, and bicycle kicks. Joshua Robinson, WSJ, "The World Cup’s Most Neutral Matchup," 2 July 2018 While pundits focus on the importance of upgrading workforce skills, kick-starting a cycle of wealth-building by attracting and retaining new businesses is a multipronged effort. Aaron Gilbreath, Longreads, "How Southern Cities Are Joining the Knowledge Economy," 29 June 2018 Among the most notable, coverage teams no longer will be allowed a running start before the kick and must line up five players on each side of the ball. Dan Wiederer,, "Will Pat O'Donnell respond to competition in fight to stick with Bears?," 13 July 2018 Belgium — whose 3-2 win over Japan on Monday, in literally the last kick of the match, put them through to a do-or-die game against Brazil in the quarterfinals — saw both halves of the country united in support of the Red Devils. Scott Roxborough, The Hollywood Reporter, "World Cup: Second Round Draws Record Ratings in U.K., France," 4 July 2018 Eric Dier scored the decisive kick after a scrappy game ended in a 1-1 draw, denying Colombia a second consecutive trip to the quarterfinals. Fox News, "England break World Cup shootout jinx, advance to quarterfinals," 3 July 2018 Dzyuba stepped up with confidence and dispatched the spot kick beyond David de Gea for an unlikely equaliser. Sean Drury, Pro Soccer USA, "Spain 1-1 Russia (3-4 pens): Hosts shock La Roja in PKs after dogged defensive display," 1 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'kick.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of kick


14th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1a


1530, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for kick


Middle English kiken

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Dictionary Entries near kick






kick around


Statistics for kick

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Time Traveler for kick

The first known use of kick was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for kick



English Language Learners Definition of kick

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to hit (someone or something) with your foot

: to move your leg or legs in the air or in water especially in a strong or forceful way

sports : to score (a goal) by kicking a ball



English Language Learners Definition of kick (Entry 2 of 2)

: an act of hitting someone or something with your foot : a sudden forceful movement with your foot

: an act of hitting a ball with your foot

: a sudden forceful movement


\ˈkik \
kicked; kicking

Kids Definition of kick

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : to hit with the foot kick a ball

2 : to move the legs forcefully Our swimming instructor reminded us to kick.

3 : to put an end to kick a habit

kick off

1 : to start play in a game (as in football or soccer) by kicking the ball

2 : begin sense 1 Then he said, “Okay! Third grade! … We're going to try something different to kick off the year …”— Megan McDonald, Judy Moody

Other Words from kick

kicker noun



Kids Definition of kick (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : a blow with the foot

2 : the act of hitting a ball with the foot

3 : a feeling or source of pleasure He gets a kick out of racing.

4 : a usually sudden strong interest He's on a health kick.

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More from Merriam-Webster on kick

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for kick

Spanish Central: Translation of kick

Nglish: Translation of kick for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of kick for Arabic Speakers

Comments on kick

What made you want to look up kick? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


a state of commotion or excitement

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