late 14c., "to spring, leap," also "return to afflict" (early 15c.), from Old French rebondir "leap back, resound; repulse, push back," from re- "back" (see re-) + bondir "leap, bound" (see bound (v.)). Sense of "to spring back from force of impact" is recorded from late 14c. Sports use probably first in tennis; basketball sense is attested from 1914. Related: Rebounded; rebounding.
1520s, in reference to a ball, from rebound (v.). Sense in basketball from 1920 (from 1917 in ice hockey). Meaning "period of reaction or renewed activity after disturbance" is from 1570s.