ric·​o·​chet | \ ˈri-kə-ˌshā How to pronounce ricochet (audio) , British also -ˌshet \

Definition of ricochet

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a glancing rebound (as of a projectile off a flat surface) the ricochet of the bullet off the wall also : an object that ricochets He was hit by a ricochet.


ricocheted\ ˈri-​kə-​ˌshād How to pronounce ricochet (audio) \ also ricochetted\ ˈri-​kə-​ˌshe-​təd How to pronounce ricochet (audio) \; ricocheting\ ˈri-​kə-​ˌshā-​iŋ How to pronounce ricochet (audio) \ also ricochetting\ ˈri-​kə-​ˌshe-​tiŋ How to pronounce ricochet (audio) \

Definition of ricochet (Entry 2 of 2)

intransitive verb

: to bounce or skip with or as if with a glancing rebound The bullet that hit President Reagan had ricocheted off the presidential limousine.— David Fisher The ball ricochets at a right angle, falling with force into the first baseman's glove …— Bob Drury The chute snaps open, the sound ricocheting through the gorge like a gunshot, and McGuire is soaring, carving S turns into the air, swooping over a winding creek.— Karl Taro Greenfeld

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Synonyms for ricochet

Synonyms: Verb

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Examples of ricochet in a Sentence

Noun He was hit by a ricochet. the ricochet of the bullet off the wall Verb The bullet ricocheted off the wall. the ball ricocheted off the fielder's glove and went over the fence for a home run
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Landry, Simmons and Clowney have combined for a remarkable 12 passes defended this season, and Landry has an interception off of a ricochet. Joel A. Erickson, The Indianapolis Star, "Insider: 28 things to watch in Colts-Titans showdown," 11 Nov. 2020 The characters all kind of ricochet off each other in different ways. Clark Collis, EW.com, "His Dark Materials star Lin-Manuel Miranda says worlds get 'wilder and wilder' in season 2," 6 Nov. 2020 Trailing 14-0 early in the third quarter, Mississippi State briefly climbed back into the game courtesy of a crazy ricochet. Chuck Carlton, Dallas News, "Texas A&M’s dominant win over Mississippi State proves Aggies can maintain momentum," 18 Oct. 2020 Ten minutes after Corey Perry scored — following up a sweet setup by Tyler Seguin on the rush — to give the Stars a 3-2 lead, Yanni Gourde pounced on a power-play ricochet to tie the game at 3. Matthew Defranks, Dallas News, "Stars lose overtime heartbreaker in Game 4, Lightning now lead series 3-1," 25 Sep. 2020 Throughout the day and into the evening, the sounds of elaborate drumming ricochet off the façades of the grand old houses, which are painted in the colors of the tropics—the orange of papaya, the yellow of mango, the blue of the sea. Saki Knafo, Condé Nast Traveler, "Exploring Bahia's Afro-Brazilian Roots," 22 Sep. 2020 Arrays of glass corner-cube prisms make this cosmic ricochet possible. Katherine Kornei, New York Times, "How Do You Solve a Moon Mystery? Fire a Laser at It," 15 Aug. 2020 There were two wild pitches in the inning and the second one was a curveball that bounced between his legs and ricochet to the backstop to give Cleveland a 2-0 lead. Bobby Nightengale, The Enquirer, "How Tucker Barnhart lifted the Cincinnati Reds with his smarts and his arm," 4 Aug. 2020 Kiermaier, racing over from center to back up on the play, was in perfect position to catch the ricochet. Paul Newberry, Star Tribune, "Freeman powers Braves to 7-4 win, snaps Rays' 4-game streak," 29 July 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Just like geologists do on Earth, the team used seismometers—instruments used to detect vibrations that ricochet through the crust—to measure what was happening on Mars. Rasha Aridi, Smithsonian Magazine, "Mars InSight Lander Offers a Sneak Peek at the Red Planet’s Inner Layers," 17 Dec. 2020 The recriminations have continued to ricochet across the state, with other prominent Republicans trading insults as the party grapples with the high-profile losses and seems to overlook the down-ballot victories for the GOP. Ronald J. Hansen, The Arizona Republic, "Rep. Andy Biggs, Gov. Doug Ducey's team clash on Twitter in sign of GOP battles to come," 6 Dec. 2020 The rebate rule applies to drugs sold in Medicare Part D, the outpatient drug program for seniors, but the head of the Department of Health and Human Services said last year the change could ricochet into private plans. Bloomberg.com, "Trump Unveils Disputed, Long-Shot Drug Rules Upending System," 20 Nov. 2020 Laos, then jumps across decades and continents as characters ricochet around the world. Washington Post, "50 notable works of fiction in 2020," 19 Nov. 2020 Nicolai Geertsen, playing for Danish side Lyngby BK, first sweetly struck a bicycle kick from a corner, only for his effort to ricochet off the crossbar. Ben Morse, CNN, "Defender scores 'miraculous' scissor kick after his bicycle kick rebounds off crossbar," 13 Nov. 2020 This strike was perhaps his most ruthlessly clinical — a perfect thread across the box from an extremely flat angle, finding a small opening to ricochet off the post and into the net. Julia Poe, orlandosentinel.com, "Orlando City falls to Nashville SC in regular-season finale," 8 Nov. 2020 The crash caused the Mazda to ricochet across the roadway, strike the center median and flip onto its roof, police said. Robin Goist, cleveland, "Man killed in crash on I-76 in Akron," 2 Nov. 2020 And now, in an attempt at parity and absolution, our pattern is about to ricochet in the opposite direction. Paul Douglas, Star Tribune, "It's Good To Be Above Average Again," 1 Nov. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'ricochet.' 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 ricochet


1740, in the meaning defined above


1804, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for ricochet



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Time Traveler for ricochet

Time Traveler

The first known use of ricochet was in 1740

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Cite this Entry

“Ricochet.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/ricochet. Accessed 4 Mar. 2021.

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More Definitions for ricochet



English Language Learners Definition of ricochet

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: something (such as a bullet or stone) that ricochets off a surface
: the action of ricocheting off a surface



English Language Learners Definition of ricochet (Entry 2 of 2)

: to bounce off a surface and continue moving in a different direction


ric·​o·​chet | \ ˈri-kə-ˌshā How to pronounce ricochet (audio) \
ricocheted; ricocheting

Kids Definition of ricochet

: to bounce off at an angle … the stones and shattered metal fragments ricocheted about dangerously.— Brian Jacques, Redwall

More from Merriam-Webster on ricochet

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Nglish: Translation of ricochet for Spanish Speakers

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