\ ˈbau̇n(t)s How to pronounce bounce (audio) \
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)

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

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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

High-ranking party officials have bounced between Sweden and Hungary, ruled by the authoritarian nationalist Prime Minister Viktor Orban. Jo Becker, New York Times, "The Global Machine Behind the Rise of Far-Right Nationalism," 10 Aug. 2019 Samardzija bounced back nicely from his last start, when he was lifted after four inning in a 4-0 loss to the Washington Nationals. Mike Lefkow, The Mercury News, "Giants beat Phillies as Samardzija throws a gem," 10 Aug. 2019 Urias, running with his back to the plate, had Arenado’s high fly ball bounce off his glove. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Padres beat Rockies, win first series of second half," 10 Aug. 2019 Hill did bounce back to throw a 33-yard touchdown pass to Lil’Jordan Humphrey with 8:44 left in the game to cut the deficit to 27-25. Chris Tomasson, Twin Cities, "Kirk Cousins sharp in only series as Vikings win sixth straight preseason opener," 10 Aug. 2019 Darnold bounced back in that one as the Jets routed the Lions 48-17. Dennis Waszak Jr.,, "Jets’ Darnold opens 2nd NFL season in impressive style," 9 Aug. 2019 Politicians routinely bounce back from financial scandal, public humiliation, and even assault charges. Oliver Staley, Quartz, "Marathon cheater Rosie Ruiz was an anti-hero ahead of her time," 9 Aug. 2019 In their first fight, Ruiz (33-1, 22 knockouts), a portly replacement opponent from Imperial, Calif., bounced back from a knockdown to overpower Joshua (22-1, 21 KOs ) with four knockdowns of his own en route to a seventh-round finish. Manouk Akopyan, Los Angeles Times, "Anthony Joshua-Andy Ruiz rematch will be in Saudi Arabia," 9 Aug. 2019 Home sales in the Dallas-Fort Worth area have bounced up and down this year. Steve Brown, Dallas News, "Home sales set D-FW record in July up 7% from 2018," 8 Aug. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Highlights include petting zoo, Snow’s Pony Rides, kids zone with bounce house and live music by Calico Ridge from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. along with Valley Center Optimist Club’s beer garden. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Boys & Girls Club receives $25K grant to support Career Launch program," 12 Aug. 2019 Other attractions include balloon art, face painting, bounce houses, games, free food and an appearance by McGruff the Crime Dog. Daily Pilot, "Local cities to celebrate National Night Out against crime," 6 Aug. 2019 The event will include bounce houses, face painting, and a visit from an Avon Lake fire truck., "Avon Lake library, schools partner for community read initiative: Short Takes on Avon, Avon Lake and North Ridgeville," 2 Aug. 2019 Oh, and who can forget the balloons, birthday cake, a bounce house, live music, Folklorico Dancers and story time at this carnivalesque gathering fit for an entire state. The Denver Channel, The Know, "Happy birthday, Colorado! Now go blow out your candles at the History Colorado Center," 1 Aug. 2019 The forward elevated and butted the ball to the ground where took a sharp bounce into the top of the net. Houston Chronicle, "Dynamo end three-game skid with home win over Red Bulls," 4 July 2019 Outs called on hits that take a bounce before being caught. James Krause, Naperville Sun, "Vintage baseball played with 1858 rules takes the field Sunday at Naper Settlement's Hometown Picnic," 6 June 2019 On Sunday evening, as the annual Gilroy Garlic Festival wound down, Stephen was playing near a bounce house with his mother and grandmother when shots rang out. Los Angeles Times, "A 19-year-old with a semiautomatic rifle shatters Gilroy’s beloved garlic festival, killing 3, including 2 children," 30 July 2019 Among the dead are 6-year-old Stephen Romero, who was playing at an inflatable bounce house before being shot in the back, and 13-year-old Keyla Salazar. CBS News, "Festival gunman's social media suggests white supremacy ties," 30 July 2019

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 1

History and Etymology for bounce


Middle English bounsen

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Statistics for bounce

Last Updated

15 Aug 2019

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 How to pronounce bounce (audio) \
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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a haphazard or makeshift solution

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