\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

When this light hits soil, pebbles, grass, cement or any other material that covers our planet, part of it bounces back. Science Buddies, Scientific American, "Warm in the Sun," 12 July 2018 Copper prices bounced back after nearing bear-market territory a day earlier, with some analysts suggesting recent selling on trade threats might have been overdone. Amrith Ramkumar, WSJ, "Copper Rebounds After Long Slump," 12 July 2018 With the bases loaded, Margot bounced a ball back to pitcher Chris Bassitt, who threw home for the force. Kevin Acee,, "Padres get around to scoring, then Richard falters in loss to A's," 4 July 2018 Evans should bounce back, no matter how long Jameis Winston is out. Staff,, "Fantasy Football 2018 Mock Draft," 4 July 2018 After losing the first six, the Bees bounced back as of late. Christopher Hanna,, "Bees Stay Hot, Remain In Contention For First-Half Playoff Spot," 3 July 2018 The Miami Heat bounced back from a tough shooting night and a loss to the Golden State Warriors in the first game of the California Classic with a 89-74 win over the Los Angeles Lakers on Tuesday night at the Golden 1 Center. Manny Navarro, miamiherald, "Heat pounds Lakers in second summer league game. Here's who looked good," 3 July 2018 The Swedes bounced back from Toni Kroos’ injury-time winner for Germany to beat Mexico 3-0 while the defending champions did themselves in by losing to South Korea. Ben Nuckols, The Seattle Times, "Kickoff: Well-rested Kane still tops World Cup scorers," 2 July 2018 The conversation bounced back and forth like a flawless game of tennis. Hannah Orenstein,, "How working as a matchmaker ruined my love life," 30 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

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 Martin grabs it on the bounce, shoots a 3-pointer and sprints to the other end of the court to defend the post, runs to the 3-point arc to contest an imaginary jumper, and then back to the post. Gregg Doyel, Indianapolis Star, "Doyel: NBA prospects prepare for 2018 NBA Draft in hard-to-find Zionsville barn," 3 Apr. 2018 Instead when the time came the Warriors visited the National Museum of African American History and Culture, just a bounce pass from the White House. Erik Brady, USA TODAY, "Trump has it wrong: Eagles disrespect their president, not their country," 5 June 2018 Klay was elated when Trayce hooked up early this season with the A’s, whose Coliseum home is a bounce pass from the Warriors’ digs, but Trayce lasted only three games as a stopgap with Oakland before being traded to the White Sox on April 19. John Shea, San Francisco Chronicle, "Trayce Thompson, Klay’s brother, seeks permanent baseball home," 2 June 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

7 Nov 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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Comments on bounce

What made you want to look up bounce? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to express warning or disapproval

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