\ 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

Keep scrolling for more

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.
See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Verb That would bounce them to the play-in round, where teams at seventh, eighth, ninth and 10th compete for the final two playoff spots. oregonlive, "Portland Trail Blazers, off to slow second-half start, hit the road in need of victories in tight West race," 25 Mar. 2021 In other words, girls who are able to bounce back from the problems and obstacles in their lives. Washington Post, "Girls on the Run has helped girls find paths to success for 25 years," 24 Mar. 2021 That’s a lot of pressure on one person, and being able to bounce back from the inevitable missteps, setbacks and headaches encountered along the way is one of the primary characteristics of a successful leader. Expert Panel®, Forbes, "11 Key Steps Leaders Can Take To Increase Their Resilience," 19 Mar. 2021 Sonoma and Mendocino counties have declined by a devastating 95 percent since 2013, and, according to the Chronicle, researchers are concerned the kelp may not be able to bounce back anytime soon. Alex Fox, Smithsonian Magazine, "Satellite Imagery Shows Northern California Kelp Forests Have Collapsed," 11 Mar. 2021 The hope was Ray would be able to bounce back last season. Tom Haudricourt, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "'He's got the secrets': Brewers manager Craig Counsell marvels at the longevity of radio icon Bob Uecker," 2 Mar. 2021 After falling behind early, the Aggies were able to bounce back and take a seven-point lead at the 3:33 mark of the first half. Hannah Underwood, Dallas News, "3 takeaways from Texas A&M’s loss to Ole Miss: Second-half surge lifts Rebels over Aggies," 23 Jan. 2021 This made the observatory one of the few facilities able to bounce radar beams off planets, moons and asteroids to make remarkably high-resolution measurements of their shapes and surfaces. Robin George Andrews, Scientific American, "Arecibo’s Collapse Sends Dire Warning to Other Aging Observatories," 11 Dec. 2020 But prices for devalued oil and gas lands will not be able to bounce back as quickly if the pandemic worsens and lockdowns keep pressure on demand for petroleum. From Usa Today Network And Wire Reports, USA TODAY, "Winery testing, ‘Gretch the Grinch,’ disinfectant cubes: News from around our 50 states," 27 Nov. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The Spurs did get 28 points from DeMar DeRozan and 24 from Derrick White, in what amounted for an effective bounce-back for him after a tough road trip. Jeff Mcdonald, San Antonio Express-News, "The triple take: Hornets 100, Spurs 97," 22 Mar. 2021 Simons tossed the ball into the air, caught it on a high bounce and finished with a spinning 360 two-hand slam. Buddy Collings,, "Edgewater alum Anfernee Simons wins NBA dunk contest," 9 Mar. 2021 On the second bounce, the ball is live and either player can grab it. Scott Ostler, San Francisco Chronicle, "Want to play in the NBA? Just box out, baby," 3 Mar. 2021 On a potential Willie Calhoun bounce back in 2021... Evan Grant, Dallas News, "How Rangers’ Joey Gallo, Willie Calhoun can bounce back in 2021," 24 Feb. 2021 Of his six scores on Friday, four were layups and two were on off-the-bounce midrange jumpers. Scottie Bordelon, Arkansas Online, "LIVE UPDATES: Arkansas-Texas Tech meet in 2nd round," 21 Mar. 2021 Driving it all is faith in a resounding post-Covid bounce-back, a brisker-than-expected pivot to online luxury shopping and the swift recovery of China, a crucial market for the world’s priciest brands. Benjamin Stupples, Fortune, "From Louboutins to Birkenstocks, footwear brands are minting a new round of billionaires," 20 Mar. 2021 The probable result is a bounce-back that was unthinkable in the spring of 2020. The Economist, "Joe Biden’s stimulus is a high-stakes gamble for America and the world," 13 Mar. 2021 Agholor posted a solid bounce-back season in 2020 - 48 receptions, 896 yards while tying his career-high with eight touchdowns - after a mediocre season in 2019. oregonlive, "10 free agents the Seattle Seahawks should target: NFL free agency 2021," 11 Mar. 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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about bounce

Time Traveler for bounce

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Statistics for bounce

Last Updated

5 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Bounce.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 11 Apr. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

Keep scrolling for more

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

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on bounce

What made you want to look up bounce? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


Test Your Vocabulary

The Exceptions Quiz III

  • one green toy robot amidst many red toy robots
  • Which of these words does not mean "nonsense"?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

 AlphaBear 2

Spell words. Make bears.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!