Idiom:  Kick in

Comic of an angry bull racing towards a matador, who's talking to an insurance agent, who tells him: I'm afraid the policy won't kick in in the next 30 seconds.


Look at the picture—Can you guess the meaning of the idiom 'kick in.'   

kick in: 

1) to start to operate or become effective;

2) to contribute something (especially money).


As noted above, there are two different meanings with this idiom. The examples below will make the different meanings clearer.

However, the comic above is referring to the first meaning (to become effective). What type of insurance policy has the matador just purchased? Maybe a life insurance, disability and/or health insurance policy!


— Doctor, please do something! The pain killer still hasn't begun to kick in yet.

— The wine started to kick in after the second glass and Michelle began to relax.

— The excitement still hasn't kicked in that I got into Stanford University—I'm still in shock. 

— I'll kick in $20 for the baby shower gift. What are you planning on getting?

— If we each just kick in $1,500 we can buy a low mileage used car and share it.

 I turned on the radiator twenty minutes ago but the heat just began to kick in.

— I'll kick in a salad for the pot luck dinner and some French bread as well.

— On the third try the old lawn mower's motor kicked in but it's clear the machine needs a good service.

— In a moment the anesthesia will start to kick in and we'll see you again when you wake up after the surgery.

— My boss, who makes ten times more than anyone else, always kicks in the least amount of money for our office parties and birthday celebrations.

— If you can kick in even 30% of the cost, I'll pay the rest.

— It took weeks for the antidepressant to finally kick in but I started to feel much better when it did.

— Ugh! My allergies have kicked in and I'm so congested that I can hardly breathe.

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