kick up

See also: kickup



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kick up (third-person singular simple present kicks up, present participle kicking up, simple past and past participle kicked up)

  1. (of a horse) To rear back; to become more active or restless; to speed up.
  2. (informal, figuratively, by extension, transitive, US) To raise, to increase (a price).
    The rent has been kicked up again.
    • 1998, Paul Stiles, Riding the bull: my year in the madness at Merrill Lynch, page 200:
      When Brazil triumphed over Italy in the final, it kicked up the price of Brazilian bonds.
    • 2010, Gary Lee Falls, Eras Way Answers, page 124:
      Instead, when speaking the truth, rather than getting kicked out of town or worse, getting strung up with a rope in the South, here in Boston and the North, generally they got back at troublemakers by taking your token job, kicking up the rent, and for serious punishment, they'd agree with you and the ideas you were mouthing then as quickly as possible help you get back to the South so they could see how long you'd last.
  3. (informal, figuratively, transitive) To stir up (trouble), to cause (a disturbance).
    • 1823, James Kirke Paulding, Koningsmarke, the Long Finne (page 45)
      In truth, these little men were so far out of the reach of their masters, that they considered themselves as little less than immortal, and often kicked up a dust for the sole purpose of showing their authority.
    • 1874, John Henry Walsh, A Manual of Domestic Economy: Suited to Families spending from £150 to £1500 a year, page 639:
      It is no wonder that they are often heavy and indisposed, and demand on the next morning a visit to the medicine-chest to get rid of the superfluous food, which has already kicked up a disturbance.
    • 2009, Christine Bichsel, Conflict transformation in Central Asia: irrigation disputes, page 92:
      He said that the disturbances had been initiated by Tajiks, residents of the Uzbek village of Khushjar, who raided the Kyrgyz territory and kicked up a row with the locals. Blows were traded.
  4. (transitive, colloquial) To make more exciting.
    • 2010, Neil Atkinson, The Shrewd Christian (page 65)
      Why not learn to build rustic furniture? Why not learn strength training at home? If you're married, why not kick up your sex life a notch?
    • 2014, Ava Miles, Country Heaven Cookbook
      What about sweet "mashed" potatoes? And I had to kick it up, as my grandmother used to say, by adding a splash of bourbon. When I first tried them, I about swooned.
  5. (informal, intransitive) To show anger (about something).
    He kicked up about it when they told him the train had been cancelled.
    • 2005, Tony Gant, Sunrise Sandwiches, page 517:
      But, you have kicked up about that a few times. I've got used to it, though. What I am not used to is how you are now. Very quiet, philosophical, and acquiescent.
  6. (informal, intransitive, US) To function improperly, to show signs of disorder, (of an illness) to flare up.
    The car is kicking up.
    • 2006, Thomas E. Brown, Attention Deficit Disorder: The Unfocused Mind in Children and Adults, page 153:
      My ADHD is kicking up again.
  7. (machinery) To move sharply upward.
    See, that rod there is supposed to kick up to engage the gear.
  8. (slang) To pass something up a hierarchy or chain of command.
    You have to kick up some money to the boss.
    Let me kick your offer up and see what the execs say.
  9. (transitive, intransitive) Used other than figuratively or idiomatically: see kick,‎ up.
    You could tell where he had been by the cloud of dust he had kicked up.
    • 2006, C. R. Kwiat, Razor’s Box, page 68:
      Alyssa turned around to look at Rebecca. “I suppose you could call it that.” She walked forward and kicked the ball up to her hands. “This used to be my best ball.” “Let me see you fix it,” Rebecca said with her eyebrows raised.