\ 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 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.
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 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


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

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.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Green Bay is looking to bounce back from a dreadful special teams performance at Kansas City. Mark Heim |, al, 14 Nov. 2021 Now, Quinn finds himself on the opposite sideline as the defensive coordinator of the first-place Cowboys (6-2), who are looking to bounce back from a no-show loss to the Denver Broncos last week. Chris Bumbaca, USA TODAY, 14 Nov. 2021 Mabiala was perfectly positioned to intercept a cross from Víctor Vázquez but whiffed on the play, allowing the pass to bounce through his legs to Hernández, who deflected it in at the far post for his team-leading 13th goal of the season. Kevin Baxter, Los Angeles Times, 16 Oct. 2021 The Bengals are looking to bounce back from an emotional loss to the Green Bay Packers in overtime in Week 5 and get the bad taste out of their mouths. Kelsey Conway, The Enquirer, 14 Oct. 2021 The Wisconsin Badgers football team faces off with No. 14 Michigan at Camp Randall Stadium on Saturday morning, looking to bounce back after an ugly 1-2 start to the season. Jr Radcliffe, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 2 Oct. 2021 Belichick and Brady head into the matchup looking to bounce back from losses in Week 3., 1 Oct. 2021 Phoenix Suns All-Star Devin Booker scored 16 points in 19 minutes in helping Team USA bounce back from upset loss to France and smash Iran, 120-66, Wednesday in the Tokyo Olympics. Duane Rankin, The Arizona Republic, 29 July 2021 During Mardi Gras, the mixed sound of carnival revelers and brass bands reverberate and bounce through the highway’s columns. NBC news, 6 June 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun But when up to 30% of site visits are potentially coming from invalid sources, the entire customer acquisition operation is polluted; SEO rankings are hurt by bot traffic with high bounce rates and content scraping. Guy Tytunovich, Forbes, 11 Nov. 2021 My Why Tour, there’s still not much more than a bounce-of-the-puck difference between the archrivals., 6 Nov. 2021 And the influence of hip-hop is discernible in footwork and bounce, but most of all in attitude. New York Times, 3 Nov. 2021 Moments earlier, Curry had delivered a bounce pass in the key to center Kevon Looney, who went up for a dunk and got fouled. Connor Letourneau, San Francisco Chronicle, 1 Nov. 2021 The world’s uneven bounce back from the coronavirus pandemic meant that the far-flung links of the global supply chain were out of sync and could not connect. New York Times, 2 Nov. 2021 In a third photo, Stormi is captured mid-jump, having fun in a bounce castle as Jenner shows off her baby bump in a catsuit alongside mom Kris Jenner in a follow-up shot. Nicholas Rice,, 1 Nov. 2021 The first assistant will, like Mather, remain with the major league team while the other two bounce back and forth. Nick Piecoro, The Arizona Republic, 30 Oct. 2021 San Francisco punt returner Brandon Aiyuk let a Rigo Sanchez bounce inside his own 25-yard line then, in the process of chasing it down, kicked it before finally recovering it in the end zone. Nat Newell, The Indianapolis Star, 25 Oct. 2021

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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Time Traveler for bounce

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for bounce

Last Updated

19 Nov 2021

Cite this Entry

“Bounce.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 30 Nov. 2021.

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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

More from Merriam-Webster on bounce

Nglish: Translation of bounce for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of bounce for Arabic Speakers


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