\ 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 Total industrial production, which also includes output at mines and utilities, increased 0.6 percent, the most in a year as crude oil extraction bounced back after Hurricane Barry depressed drilling in the Gulf of Mexico a month earlier. Washington Post, "Wells Fargo to test blockchain system," 18 Sep. 2019 His sister had a theme in triple rhythms bouncing back and forth. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Review: World premiere and Beethoven on a boat disappoint in Hausmann Quartet concert," 16 Sep. 2019 Beckham, traded from the Giants in March, helped the Browns (1-1) bounce back from a 30-point loss to Tennessee in their opener to top the Jets (0-2). oregonlive, "Odell Beckham, Jr. powers the Cleveland Browns to the win over the New York Jets: Recap, score, stats and more," 16 Sep. 2019 The Tigers travel to face the Orange, who will be looking to bounce back after a poor effort against Maryland last week. Usa Today Sports, USA TODAY, "USA TODAY Sports college football staff picks for Week 3 of the season," 12 Sep. 2019 The next chance for Cincinnati to bounce back and start to lay some kind of foundation for 2020 comes in Quebec, where Montreal (11-15-4, 37 points) is in a close Eastern Conference playoff race. Pat Brennan,, "Here's what you need to know about FC Cincinnati's match at Montreal Impact," 11 Sep. 2019 Ultimately, the team found that larvae treated with rapid cold hardening bounced back from stress faster than their directly frozen counterparts; members of the group also exhibited significantly higher metabolic rates during recovery. Meilan Solly, Smithsonian, "How Antarctica’s Only Native Insect Survives the Freezing Temperatures," 10 Sep. 2019 Jones bobbled the snap, the ball bounced back into the end zone and Miramar’s Derrick Hall recovered for 6 points. Pat Lammer,, "Dillard pulls off furious rally to stun Miramar," 31 Aug. 2019 The ball bounced back toward the Royals’ end zone and Jacob Young recovered for a touchdown and a 17-0 lead. Jace Frederick, Twin Cities, "Surprise! RaJa Nelson quarterbacks Lakeville North past Woodbury," 29 Aug. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Additional cost for bounce houses, trolley ride, corn cannon, and food. Luann Gibbs,, "Things to do this week in Cincinnati: Sept. 16-22," 16 Sep. 2019 The festival will include a craft and vendor show, bounce houses, hayride, games, face painting, petting zoo, photo booth, raffle, concessions, pie eating contest, cake walk, and a special Blessing of the Pets at 3:30 p.m., "Football games, parades, dances on tap as schools celebrate Homecoming: Short Takes on Avon, Avon Lake and North Ridgeville," 13 Sep. 2019 Kids can choose from three bounce houses to burn off some steam. Chris Sims, Indianapolis Star, "Help pick Indianapolis' best food truck at Central Indiana Food Truck Battle 2019," 13 Sep. 2019 Kids will have fun, too, with a climbing wall, slide, obstacle course, bounce houses, balloon art and more. Sarah Kuta, The Know, "The ultimate guide to Oktoberfest in Colorado, 2019 edition," 13 Sep. 2019 Barktoberfest is designed as much for humans as their pets, with kiddie bounce houses and face painting, a dog costume contest and pet adoptions with local rescue and nonprofit groups. Phillip Valys,, "Water barks: South Florida water parks are going to the dogs," 10 Sep. 2019 Small fry can head to the kids’ zone for food, games and bounce houses. Sara Cagle, Los Angeles Times, "Fleet Week, live jazz, a Native American powwow and more Labor Day weekend fun in and around SoCal," 28 Aug. 2019 Stephen Romero, a 6-year-old boy from San Jose who loved Legos and Batman, had been playing near a bounce house with his mother and grandmother before he was killed. New York Times, "Gilroy Shooting: Two Children Among the Dead at California Festival," 29 July 2019 Two other children who were in the bounce house were treated for minor injuries. Fox News, "Nevada girl, 9, dies days after wind blew bounce house into power lines," 20 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

24 Oct 2019

Time Traveler for bounce

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

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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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More from Merriam-Webster on bounce

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for bounce

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with 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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