bounce

1 of 2

verb

bounced; bouncing

transitive verb

1
obsolete : beat, bump
2
: to cause to rebound or be reflected
bounce a ball
bounce a light ray off a reflector
3
a
b
: to expel precipitately from a place
c
: to eliminate from a competition by defeating
was bounced from the tournament in the first round
4
: to issue (a check) drawn on an account with insufficient funds
5
: to present (something, such as an idea) to another person to elicit comments or to gain approval
usually used with off
6
: to return (an email) to the sender with notification of failed delivery
Other potential authors proved simply too hard to reach. E-mails got bounced back, and many phone calls never went through.Clark Boyd

intransitive verb

1
: to rebound or reflect after striking a surface (such as the ground)
2
: to recover from a blow or a defeat quickly
usually used with back
3
: to be returned by a bank because of insufficient funds in a checking account
His checks bounced.
4
a
: to leap suddenly : bound
b
: to walk with springing steps
5
: to hit a baseball so that it hits the ground before it reaches an infielder
6
of an email : to return to the sender with notification of failed delivery
Gonzalez had the wrong addresses for the local executives, and his emails bounced back.David Wenner
7
: to go quickly and usually repeatedly from one place, situation, job, etc., to another
The story bounces from one parallel universe to the next …Digby Diehl
In the past year, he's been the most visible rapper in the world, bouncing around the globe …Christian Hoard
8
US, informal : leave, depart
Some of Hollywood's finest … reportedly had difficulty getting in and decided to bounce.Kenya N. Byrd

bounce

2 of 2

noun

plural bounces
1
: the act or action of bouncing off the ground or another surface : a rebound off a surface
caught the ball on the second bounce
… his liner … to right-center took an odd bounce off the wall.Rob Maaddi
2
: a sudden increase or improvement in rating or value
As Gore rode his post-convention bounce, the media started eyeballing Bush for signs of anxiety.Michelle Cottle
3
: a lively or energetic quality : verve, liveliness
full of bounce and enthusiasm
still has plenty of bounce in his step
4
: bluster sense 3
In William II the bullying spirit has developed into bounce and swagger …E. H. C. Oliphant

Examples of bounce in a Sentence

Verb He was bouncing a tennis ball against the garage door. bouncing the ball back and forth The children love to bounce on the bed. The winner bounced up and down with delight. Her curls bounced as she jumped. He bounced the baby on his knee. She gave me a check for 20 dollars, but the check bounced, and I never got the money. He bounced a 100-dollar check at the grocery store. The store charges a $15 fee for a bounced check. Noun The ball took a high bounce over the shortstop's head. He caught the ball on the first bounce. a basketball that has lost all its bounce The shampoo promises to give limp hair lots of bounce. After the debates, she enjoyed a big bounce in the election polls.
Recent Examples on the Web
Verb
And Soft bounces 2-1 for its fifth non-consecutive week atop the leaderboard. Lars Brandle, Billboard, 12 July 2024 To play, bounce the ball against the wall or floor while doing a task, like touching the ground or spinning around in-between bounces. Catherine Holecko, Parents, 10 July 2024
Noun
History suggests that the winner of a Presidential debate can expect a bounce—a slight one, averaging seven-tenths of a point—in the two weeks afterward. Susan B. Glasser, The New Yorker, 28 June 2024 And from jazz came everything: R&B, blues, rock ‘n’ roll, bounce, pop and hip-hop. Cierra Chenier, Essence, 25 June 2024 See all Example Sentences for bounce 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'bounce.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

Verb

Middle English bounsen

First Known Use

Verb

13th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

Noun

1523, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of bounce was in the 13th century

Dictionary Entries Near bounce

Cite this Entry

“Bounce.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/bounce. Accessed 16 Jul. 2024.

Kids Definition

bounce

1 of 2 verb
bounced; bouncing
1
a
: to cause to rebound
bounce a ball
b
: to spring back or up after striking a surface
2
: to remove from a place by force
3
: to recover quickly from a blow or defeat
bounced back after the loss
4
: to leap suddenly : bound
5
of a check : to be returned by a bank because of lack of funds in a checking account

bounce

2 of 2 noun
1
a
: a sudden leap or bound
b
: a bouncing back : rebound
2
bouncy adjective

More from Merriam-Webster on bounce

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