\ 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
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

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 Only after the migrants settled and had years to claw back a decent life did some towns bounce back stronger. Meridith Kohut, ProPublica, "Climate Change Will Force a New American Migration," 15 Sep. 2020 The Flaming Lips, a long-running psychedelic rock band from Oklahoma, bounce between novelty releases and more straightforward full-length albums. Mark Richardson, WSJ, "‘American Head’ by the Flaming Lips Review: Yearning for Escape," 10 Sep. 2020 Bottom-bounce it on a dead drift, and keep weight on the leader and stagger the shot. Andrew Pegman, Field & Stream, "12 Hot Fly Patterns for Great Lakes Steelhead," 2 Sep. 2020 The Mean Green finished 4-8 last fall and will look to bounce back under Seth Littrell, beginning with its season-opener on Sept. 5 at Apogee Stadium against Houston Baptist. Brett Vito, Denton Record-Chronicle, "Who will make the difference between winning and losing for UNT this fall? Here are 10 key players to know," 20 Aug. 2020 The demise of New York City has often been greatly exaggerated, however, and many in the past wondered whether the city could bounce back after the 1918 flu pandemic, the city’s near bankruptcy in the 1970s, and the terrorist attacks on 9/11. Harry Bruinius, The Christian Science Monitor, "What will happen to Big Apple’s core? Clues from reopening.," 19 Aug. 2020 How does Sheldon Rankins bounce back from his right ankle injury? Amie Just | Staff Writer,, "Saints fans 'Ask Amie': Answers about how this training camp will work," 16 Aug. 2020 Mitchell’s words will bounce back, be heard again and again in this series. Gordon Monson, The Salt Lake Tribune, "Gordon Monson: Donovan Mitchell’s words already are echoing through the Jazz-Nuggets playoff series," 14 Aug. 2020 Economist said that the longer the pandemic drags down the economy, the more job losses will become permanent — and the more likely that people filing weekly claims are not going to bounce back and be rehired, as many were earlier in the pandemic. Eli Rosenberg, Washington Post, "Jobless claims dip below 1 million for first time in more than four months," 13 Aug. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Pat Valaika, who entered the game for Iglesias as a substitute, hit a drive to the warning track that Markakis got under but had bounce out of his glove and over the fence for a home run. Jon Meoli,, "Orioles break out, score nine runs in one inning in 14-1 rout of Braves to end five-game skid," 14 Sep. 2020 But if their offseason moves pay off, they could be primed for a quick bounce-back. Scott Horner, The Indianapolis Star, "NFL power rankings Week 1: Colts viewed as likely playoff contenders," 9 Sep. 2020 DraftKings had a big bounce on Wall Street Wednesday on news that basketball legend Michael Jordan is taking an ownership stake in the sports betting site. Matt Ott, Star Tribune, "Michael Jordan gets stake in DraftKings for advisory role," 2 Sep. 2020 Reed hopes for a bounce-back season following a disappointing 2019 campaign and reclaim the form that produced 10.5 sacks in 2018. oregonlive, "Seattle Seahawks’ 53-man roster projection for the 2020 season," 18 Aug. 2020 Kawhi Leonard scored 29 points as Los Angeles shot 54.3% from the field and closed strong for a bounce-back victory. Matt Eppers, USA TODAY, "NBA bubble breakdown: Suns are biggest surprise, but can they make the playoffs?," 7 Aug. 2020 The labor market has continued to show signs of improvement in recent months, although the pace of progress has likely slowed further from the strong initial bounce in May and June, which economists warn is a worrisome sign for the recovery. Editors, USA TODAY, "North Carolina mail voting, August jobs report, 'Mulan' on Disney+: 5 things to know Friday," 5 Sep. 2020 Democratic nominee Joe Biden retains his lead over President Donald Trump in national polls two months before the election, with neither candidate seeing a bounce in surveys after their party conventions last month. John Harney,, "Biden Holds Lead Over Trump as Conventions Fail to Reshape Polls," 3 Sep. 2020 For one, much of the recent bounce in job growth has come from industries that are particularly sensitive to shutdowns and social distancing, namely restaurants, travel, transportation and retail. Anne Sraders, Fortune, "Is the economy about to head backwards?," 21 Aug. 2020

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 Sep 2020

Cite this Entry

“Bounce.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 Sep. 2020.

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More Definitions for bounce


How to pronounce bounce (audio)

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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Comments on bounce

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