bounce [bouns] SynonymsWord Origin verb (used without object), bounced, bounc·ing.

  1. to spring back from a surface in a lively manner: The ball bounced off the wall.
  2. to strike the ground or other surface, and rebound: The ball bounced once before he caught it.
  3. to move or walk in a lively, exuberant, or energetic manner: She bounced into the room.
  4. to move along in a lively manner, repeatedly striking the surface below and rebounding: The box bounced down the stairs.
  5. to move about or enter or leave noisily or angrily (followed by around, about, out, out of, into, etc.): He bounced out of the room in a huff.
  6. (of a check or the like) to fail to be honored by the bank against which it was drawn, due to lack of sufficient funds.

verb (used with object), bounced, bounc·ing.

  1. to cause to bound and rebound: to bounce a ball; to bounce a child on one’s knee; to bounce a signal off a satellite.
  2. to refuse payment on (a check) because of insufficient funds: The bank bounced my rent check.
  3. to give (a bad check) as payment: That’s the first time anyone bounced a check on me.
  4. Slang. to eject, expel, or dismiss summarily or forcibly.


  1. a bound or rebound: to catch a ball on the first bounce.
  2. a sudden spring or leap: In one bounce he was at the door.
  3. ability to rebound; resilience: This tennis ball has no more bounce.
  4. vitality; energy; liveliness: There is bounce in his step. This soda water has more bounce to it.
  5. the fluctuation in magnitude of target echoes on a radarscope.
  6. Slang. a dismissal, rejection, or expulsion: He’s gotten the bounce from three different jobs.


  1. with a bounce; suddenly.

Verb Phrases

  1. bounce back, to recover quickly: After losing the first game of the double-header, the team bounced back to win the second.

Origin of bounce 1175–1225; Middle English buncin, bounsen, variant of bunkin, apparently cognate with Dutch bonken to thump, belabor, bonzen to knock, bumpRelated formsbounce·a·ble, adjectivebounce·a·bly, adverbSynonyms for bounce 14. animation, vivacity, life, spirit, pep, vigor, zip. British Dictionary definitions for bounce around bounce verb

  1. (intr) (of an elastic object, such as a ball) to rebound from an impact
  2. (tr) to cause (such an object) to hit a solid surface and spring back
  3. to rebound or cause to rebound repeatedly
  4. to move or cause to move suddenly, excitedly, or violently; springshe bounced up from her chair
  5. slang (of a bank) to send (a cheque) back or (of a cheque) to be sent back unredeemed because of lack of funds in the drawer’s account
  6. (of an internet service provider) to send (an email message) back or (of an email message) to be sent back to the sender, for example because the recipient’s email account is full
  7. (tr) slang to force (a person) to leave (a place or job); throw out; eject
  8. (tr) British to hustle (a person) into believing or doing something


  1. the action of rebounding from an impact
  2. a leap; jump; bound
  3. the quality of being able to rebound; springiness
  4. informal vitality; vigour; resilience
  5. British swagger or impudence
  6. informal a temporary increase or rise
  7. the bounce Australian rules football the start of play at the beginning of each quarter or after a goal
  8. get the bounce or give the bounce US informal to dismiss or be dismissed from a job
  9. on the bounce informal in succession; one after the otherthey have lost nine games on the bounce

Word Origin for bounce C13: probably of imitative origin; compare Low German bunsen to beat, Dutch bonken to thump Word Origin and History for bounce around bounce v.

early 13c., bounsen “to thump, hit,” perhaps from Dutch bonzen “to beat, thump,” or Low German bunsen, or imitative; sense probably influenced by bound (v.). Sense of “to bounce like a ball” is from 1510s; the rubber check sense is from 1927. Related: Bounced; bouncing.

bounce n.

1520s, “a heavy blow,” also “a leap, a rebound” from bounce (v.). In reference to politicians and public opinion polls, by 1996, American English.

Idioms and Phrases with bounce around bounce around 1

Move around from one person or place to another. For example, The staff spent the morning bouncing around ideas to improve sales, or She had been bouncing around from one job to another. This term alludes to a ball bouncing among players. [Colloquial; mid-1900s]


Treat roughly or unfairly, as in Quit bouncing me around; I won’t stand for it. This usage is based on a somewhat earlier meaning of bounce, “to beat up” or “coerce.” ] Slang; c. 1970]


In addition to the idioms beginning with bounce

  • bounce around
  • bounce back
  • also see:

  • get the ax (bounce)
  • more bounce for the ounce
  • that’s how the ball bounces
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