• noun an illegal commission paid to someone, especially a government official, who helps in a business deal


  • When a rotating sawblade is pinched by the material it is cutting, momentarily stopping the blade and causing it to pull away from the material.
  • The illegal return of part of the purchase price by the sellerto induce purchase or to improperly influence future purchase of goods or services.


  • In an inductive circuit or coil, a voltage surge produced when the current flowing through it is cut off. The rapidly collapsing magnetic field causes this surge. Also called inductive kick, or inductive surge.
  • In a CRT, the return of the electron beam to its starting point after a sweep or trace. Also, the time interval that elapses during this return. Also called retrace, or flyback (2).


  • noun money returned or paid as part of an illegal or covert agreement. This term, which is no longer slang, originated in the pre-World War II American underworld, in which to kick back meant to pay a fixed part of one’s income, or a fixed commission, in return for favour or protection. (The original image evoked was probably that of kicking back a portion of booty across a floor.).