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Kick-start is a figurative term that started out with a literal meaning. It is most often rendered as a hyphenated compound word, which may mean that it is in transition to being a closed compound word, which is a word composed of two words joined together without space or hyphen. We will examine the meaning of the term kick-start, where it came from and some examples of its use in sentences.

Kick-start means to take an action that prods along a process that has quit working or is moving too slowly. Kick-start may be used as a noun or a transitive verb, which is a verb that takes an object. Related words are kick-starts, kick-started, kick-starting, kick-starter. The word kick-star has enjoyed a renaissance with the advent of the American public-benefit company Kickstarter. The word kick-start was first used at the turn of the twentieth century to describe the method of starting a motorcycle, which was with a kicking motion on a lever. By the 1950s, kick-start was used figuratively. Occasionally the term is rendered as two separate words as in kick start, or as one word as in kickstart, but the Oxford English Dictionary lists the spelling with a hyphen.


CORNWOOD delivered the win they needed to kick-start their season when they routed Plymstock by eight wickets. (The Plymouth Herald)

With Hord spear-heading the revival, the retired teacher is hoping this weekend’s Mother’s Day concert at the church will help kick-start a renewed series he plans to have begin later this year. (The Hanford Sentinel)

Long Beach on Tuesday authorized a 10-year, $10.5 million “bridge” loan to the aquarium, which officials said would help kickstart construction. (The Press-Telegram)

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