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1. To disturb or loosen something. The trotting horses kicked up a lot of dirt on the trail.
2. To become problematic. Ugh, my digestive issues seem to have kicked up again.
3. To create some sort of activity or excitement. At most big box stores, if you kick up a fuss about a product that didn't meet your expectations, you'll almost definitely get a refund.
4. To begin unexpectedly or spontaneously. We were surprised when a storm kicked up in the middle of the otherwise sunny day.
5. To become stronger or more intense. The volume really kicked up once my sister and her three kids arrived at the party.
6. To cause something to become stronger or more intense. In this usage, a noun or pronoun can be used between "kick" and "up." Hey, can you kick the volume up a little bit? I can't hear the TV.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2022 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
to cause trouble or discomfort. The ignition in my car is kicking up again. I will have to have it looked into. Aunt Jane's arthritis is kicking up. She needs to see the doctor again.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
Malfunction, cause trouble or pain, as in My grandmother's arthritis is kicking up again. [Colloquial; first half of 1900s] Also see act up; also subsequent entries beginning with kick up.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
1. To increase the amount or force of something by some degree; intensify something by some amount: We were a little chilly, so I kicked the temperature up three degrees. Kick up the tempo during the chorus of the song.
2. To increase in amount or force; intensify: The waves at the beach really kicked up in the afternoon breeze.
3. To begin to take place spontaneously: A sandstorm kicked up when we were driving through the desert.
4. To arouse some activity: Those troublemakers kick up trouble wherever they go.
5. To show signs of activity, especially of disorder: His ulcer has kicked up again.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Phrasal Verbs. Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.