\ 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

So the truck is bouncing and getting hit around, under Krasinski’s direction. Tasha Robinson, The Verge, "Why the hardest special effect on A Quiet Place was corn," 8 July 2018 Milling bounced off a boulder and slid an additional 400 feet down the snowy slope before coming to a stop, according to ABC News. Don Sweeney, sacbee, "A deaf hiker fell 700 feet down an Alaska mountain. Then a husky named Nanook found her," 1 July 2018 Coogan and Rudd display real chemistry, bouncing barbs off each other with an undercurrent of affection, and Gore is cute but never nauseatingly so. Kimber Myers,, "Steven Coogan and Paul Rudd enliven gay adoption comedy 'Ideal Home'," 28 June 2018 His career came to a sudden and devastating end during a game against Chicago in 2010 when he was sacked and his head bounced off the Metrodome turf. Steven Ruiz, For The Win, "Brett Favre explains why he wants to end youth tackle football," 21 June 2018 Our demo's host pulled the trigger, and our shot bounced perfectly off a corner and filled our foe with lead. Sam Machkovech, Ars Technica, "Cyberpunk 2077 world premiere: 50 minutes of William Gibson-level insanity," 14 June 2018 The annual meeting usually functions as a chance for some of Musk’s most adoring devotees to bounce ideas off the chief executive officer and pick his brain. Bloomberg, Fortune, "5 Things to Expect at Tesla's Heated Shareholder Meeting Today," 5 June 2018 Another jolt, and then Patmon was over the hood, bouncing off the windshield. The Washington Post,, "Georgia cop fired after he ran over fleeing suspect with his car," 3 June 2018 The Caps then silenced T-Mobile Arena when Eller got the puck to Orpik, whose deflected shot bounced fortuitously off the ice and beat Fleury. Sean Meagher,, "Washington Capitals even Stanley Cup Final at 1-1 with Game 2 win," 31 May 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Shorty's unique bounce shares the segue with City Girls and Drizzy. Michael Saponara, Billboard, "Decoding All of Drake's References on 'In My Feelings'," 13 July 2018 Every loose ball is won by an England player, every lucky bounce seems to find an England player. Rory Smith, New York Times, "Croatia Digs Deeper, Burying England’s World Cup Dreams," 12 July 2018 Her follow-up, Do This For Me, is so alive and so boisterous that the characters just about bounce off the page. Team Marie Claire, Marie Claire, "11 Best Beach Reads, According to Our Editors," 6 July 2018 The My Little Farm is an educational bounce house for the little ones. Annie Alleman,, "Batavia Windmill City Fest continues to add free family fun," 5 July 2018 Three-legged races, hula hoop contests and other games; music; inflatable obstacle course, slide and bounce houses; food vendors; fireworks. Michelle Jenkins, idahostatesman, "Big July Calendar: Month is lit with fireworks, comic con and the Canyon County Fair," 28 June 2018 But 32-year old Wei-Yin Chen’s bounce back from one of his worst outings of the season went for naught as the Marlins couldn’t muster enough offense in a 2-1 defeat against the Arizona Diamondbacks. Andre C. Fernandez, miamiherald, "Offense comes too late for Marlins to back up rebound performance from Wei-Yin Chen," 27 June 2018 Viridian Stars & Stripes Spectacular This master plan community built around Lake Viridian in Arlington will have its Fourth of July celebration beginning at 5 p.m. Sunday with rock climbing, zip lining and adult bounce houses. Sandy Guerra-cline, star-telegram, "The top 10 list: This weekend is going to be a blast, blast, blast," 27 June 2018 Weakening and exhausted, Smith had no choice but hold his breath and bounce along. CBS News, "Pennsylvania teen survives being sucked into storm drain," 22 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

12 Sep 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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