Want to kick back and relax without having to bust out your laptop?

I see this sentence in the dictionary on my phone. I don't understand what kick back means here.

closed as off-topic by Cardinal, user178049, Lamplighter, Varun Nair, ColleenV Jan 23 '18 at 13:09

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  • You can use Google, it's a nice dude. – Cardinal Jan 22 '18 at 7:39

In this case, kick back is an expression which means, per Macmillan, simply

to relax

It is used intransitively. The OALD marks it as especially North American English, i.e. it is more commonly used in Canada and the U.S. than elsewhere.

According to the Online Etymology Dictionary, this usage originated around 1975. The exact origin is unknown, but in the EL&U question theories are posited that it refers to the motion of the legs when one reclines quickly, or that it is a compression of kick off your shoes, lie back, and relax, or a conflation of the latter with sit back and relax as U.S. airline pilots always seem to suggest to passengers.

I post this answer because the most common other senses of kick back, kick-back, or kickback are negative or violent, referring to violent motion, the recoil on a firearm, a type of bribery, or fighting. As always, context is essential to meaning. The sense of kickback as enjoying being comfortable, or doing nothing, is not used as a noun. Thus, there is a huge difference between the mayor asking you to kick back and the mayor asking you for a kick back.

  • Colloquially a "kick-back" is a bribe. – WS2 Jan 22 '18 at 8:50
  • @WS2 But not in this case. – choster Jan 22 '18 at 8:57

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