\ 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 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


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

Instructors are on the floor at all times, bouncing between women to offer guidance on real-word implications of the exercise or instruction on proper technique. Heather Balogh Rochfort, The Know, "Kicking the crap out of Bob: Colorado’s first kickboxing studio for women opens," 4 Sep. 2019 Matt Meredith, Miramonte football Completed 26 of 34 passes for 472 yards and four touchdowns as Miramonte bounced back from a rough loss to De Anza with a 45-39 victory over Fortuna. Darren Sabedra, The Mercury News, "Bay Area Preps HQ: This Week’s Stars," 3 Sep. 2019 Many reliable institutions, such as Frommer’s, Fodor’s and Lonely Planet, bounced around the marketplace in that tumultuous time. Margaret Wappler, Los Angeles Times, "Move over Google. Travel publishers are teaming up for grittier city intel," 28 Aug. 2019 Thomas Tuchel would have been pleased by his side's 4-0 thrashing of Toulouse on Sunday as Les Parisiens bounced back from a shock 2-1 defeat to Rennes in the previous week., "Metz vs Paris Saint-Germain: Where to Watch, Buy Tickets, Live Stream, Kick Off Time & Team News," 26 Aug. 2019 Strong earnings reports from several big retailers helped drive stocks broadly higher on Wall Street Wednesday as the market bounced back from its first loss in four days. Alex Veiga, Anchorage Daily News, "U.S. stocks climb after major retailers post solid earnings," 21 Aug. 2019 Inside the convention hall, red-and-white searchlights dance overhead, making the ceiling look as if Poké balls, which players use in the game to catch the various characters, are bouncing on the ceiling., "People are still obsessed with Pokémon and this is their Super Bowl," 20 Aug. 2019 With Treadstone bouncing between origin stories and present-day, will there be any crossover at any point with the films? Rosy Cordero,, "Watch the exclusive first trailer for Jason Bourne inspired series Treadstone," 9 Aug. 2019 Who was Charles Manson? Born in 1934 to a teenaged mother, Charles Manson’s early childhood and young life was spent bouncing around between relatives and, later, in and out of institutions in the Midwest. Angela Serratore, Smithsonian, "What You Need to Know About the Manson Family Murders," 25 July 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Similarly, his 1-of-6 preseason debut against the Broncos that included a 0.0 passer rating was followed by a bounce-back effort in Kansas City (14-of-20, 188 yards, a touchdown and a rating of 116.2) that calmed the Bay Area’s collective nerves. Eric Branch,, "49ers still unsure what they have in quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo," 6 Sep. 2019 The Portland Tribune’s Jason Vondersmith predicts a bounce-back performance and victory for the Ducks. oregonlive, "Putting the Hawaii-Oregon State game on Facebook is a step in the right direction: Issues & Answers," 5 Sep. 2019 Is Matthew Stafford poised for a bounce-back season? Dave Birkett, Detroit Free Press, "Scouting the Detroit Lions' offense: Here's what we're expecting in 2019," 4 Sep. 2019 Is this a bounce-back year in Jacksonville with Nick Foles at the helm? Carl Steward, The Mercury News, "13 questions the 2019 NFL season will answer, from the Browns to Mahomes," 4 Sep. 2019 But what a bounce-back performance by Chi Chi tonight. Patrick Saunders, The Denver Post, "Rockies’ Bryan Shaw torched by Dodgers as bullpen falters again," 3 Sep. 2019 White also added two steals, an assist and a block to the effort, which allowed the U.S. a bit of a bounce-back after dropping a rare game against the Australians. Jeff Mcdonald,, "Derrick White’s return a relief to Team USA, Spurs," 26 Aug. 2019 Sunday proved to be a nice bounce-back, with Jeff Brigham, Jarlin Garcia and Ryne Stanek combining for three scoreless innings of relief in Miami’s 3-2 win over the Phillies. Wells Dusenbury,, "Since trade deadline, Marlins’ bullpen has been worst in the league; ‘Reinforcements’ on the way," 25 Aug. 2019 Following a 1-9 season marred by injuries, the Blue Devils' hopes for a bounce-back season start with Rimac and the experience up front. Matt Goul,, "Brunswick’s bounce-back hopes start up front: 2019 football camp tour," 18 Aug. 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

17 Sep 2019

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 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

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with bounce

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for bounce

Spanish Central: Translation of bounce

Nglish: Translation of bounce for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of bounce for Arabic Speakers

Comments on bounce

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readily or continually undergoing change

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