\ˈbau̇n(t)s \
bounced; bouncing

Definition of bounce 

(Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

1 obsolete : beat, bump

2 : to cause to rebound or be reflected bounce a ball bounce a light ray off a reflector

3a : dismiss, fire

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 e-mail) 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.

4a : 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 e-mail : 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


plural bounces

Definition of bounce (Entry 2 of 2)

1a : a sudden leap or bound

b : rebound

c : 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

2 : bluster

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Examples of bounce in a Sentence


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.


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.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

As the amount of iron in the core approaches two solar masses, the core begins to collapse and then some of it bounces outward in a shockwave as a neutron star is formed. John Timmer, Ars Technica, "Atoms may come apart as the Universe’s biggest stars explode," 24 Oct. 2018 Sunlight bounces around in these pits, boosting sublimation further in the depths and eventually creating fields of spiky ice towers. Mike Wall,, "Jupiter Moon Europa's Jagged Ice Towers Could Imperil Robot Landers," 8 Oct. 2018 The bill, which has been bouncing around in various forms for years, looks to legislate the country's core identity. Aron Heller, Fox News, "Contentious bill defines Israel as Jewish nation-state," 16 July 2018 As Croatia’s players bounced around in ecstasy and as Russia’s collapsed, disconsolate, onto their backs, the losing team’s assistant manager sat down, frozen in place on the Fisht Stadium’s turf. Rory Smith, New York Times, "Russia Finally Falls, Leaving a Trail of Admirers and Doubters," 8 July 2018 That’s not to say the struggles wouldn’t have existed under Baker, who was let go after the Nationals were bounced in the first round of the playoffs. John Shea,, "Dusty Baker’s long gone as Nationals, Bryce Harper struggle," 7 July 2018 DeSoto The Eagles won their first state title two years ago before being bounced in the second round last season. Brian Gosset, star-telegram, "Best of the best: DFW's Top 10 football teams in 2018," 6 July 2018 This summer, George decided to return to a small-market Thunder team that was bounced in the first round without so much as a formal meeting with the Lakers. Ben Golliver,, "Paul George’s Quick Decision Begs Question: Are LeBron’s Best Recruiting Days Behind Him?," 1 July 2018 Australia was bounced in the first round for a third consecutive World Cup and Costa Rica, unbeaten on its way to the quarterfinals four years ago in Brazil, was winless in Russia. Kevin Baxter,, "Knockout stage seems to be lacking a Cinderella story," 27 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Activities, geared mainly for children, included a balloon artist, face painting, a bounce house, petting zoo and pony rides. Chuck Fieldman,, "Taste of Oak Brook beats the heat with plenty of food, activities, entertainment and fireworks," 5 July 2018 But most of that bounce faded, leaving stocks only slightly higher by Friday’s close. Michael Wursthorn, WSJ, "U.S. Stocks Post Weekly Loss in Volatile Trading," 16 Nov. 2018 Anyone who has ever run with an unsupportive bra on knows how essential the bounce rate measurement truly is. Lauren Swanson, Allure, "Knix Just Launched a New High-Impact Sports Bra and We Got to Try It," 25 Sep. 2018 Verlander retired the first six batters with four strikeouts before Narvaez led off the third with a drive into the alley in right field that reached the wall on one bounce. Chandler Rome, Houston Chronicle, "Yuli Gurriel's walkoff single sends Astros past White Sox," 5 July 2018 The Spanish defender is believed to be worth around £30m, and has been on United's radar following three impressive seasons on the bounce in La Liga., "Man Utd Scrap Plans to Sign £50m Rated Alex Sandro & Switch Focus to Valencia Star Left-Back," 24 June 2018 Pearce cut the proverbial ribbon on the morning’s festivities in the bottom of the first, sending a pitch over the right-field wall on a bounce, plating McHugh. Matt Doherty,, "Archbishop Williams rides dramatic rally to capture Division 4 South title," 16 June 2018 The Caps hung on through a scoreless third period for their first Stanley Cup Final victory in franchise history largely because of a bounce-back performance by Holtby, who was battered in Vegas' 6-4 series-opening win. Sean Meagher,, "Washington Capitals even Stanley Cup Final at 1-1 with Game 2 win," 31 May 2018 Like An Infielder Red Sox president Dave Dombrowski played a foul ball that sailed into his box behind home plate on the bounce, picking it up from a tabletop in front of him. Ken Powtak,, "J.D. Martinez's 2 Vastly Different HRs Lead Red Sox Past Orioles," 21 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'bounce.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of bounce


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


1523, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for bounce


Middle English bounsen

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Statistics for bounce

Last Updated

5 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for bounce

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

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More Definitions for bounce



English Language Learners Definition of bounce

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to cause (a ball, rock, etc.) to hit against a surface and quickly move in a different and usually opposite direction

: to move in one direction, hit a surface (such as a wall or the floor), and then quickly move in a different and usually opposite direction

: to move with a lot of energy and excitement



English Language Learners Definition of bounce (Entry 2 of 2)

: the act or action of bouncing off the ground or another surface

: the ability to move quickly in a different direction after hitting a surface : the ability to bounce

: a quality that makes a person's hair look healthy, full, and attractive : a bouncy quality


\ˈbau̇ns \
bounced; bouncing

Kids Definition of bounce

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : to spring back or up after hitting a surface The ball bounced into the street.

2 : to cause to spring back bounce a ball

3 : to jump or move up and down bouncing on a bed Her curls bounced as she walked.

4 : to leap suddenly The children bounced out of their seats.



Kids Definition of bounce (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : the action of springing back after hitting something

2 : a sudden leap

Other Words from bounce

bouncy adjective

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More from Merriam-Webster on bounce

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with bounce

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for bounce

Spanish Central: Translation of bounce

Nglish: Translation of bounce for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of bounce for Arabic Speakers

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living or existing for a long time

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