- to swoop down suddenly and grasp, as a bird does in seizing its prey.
- to spring, dash, or come suddenly: Unexpectedly she pounced on the right answer.
- to seize (prey) suddenly: The bird quickly pounced its prey.
- the claw or talon of a bird of prey.
- a sudden swoop, as on an object of prey.
Origin of pounce1
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
- to emboss (metal) by hammering on an instrument applied on the reverse side.
Origin of pounce2
- a fine powder, as of cuttlebone, formerly used to prevent ink from spreading in writing, or to prepare parchment for writing.
- a fine powder, often of charcoal, used in transferring a design through a perforated pattern.
- Also called pounce bag, pounce box. a small bag filled with pounce and struck against a perforated design.
- to sprinkle, smooth, or prepare with pounce.
- to trace (a design) with pounce.
- to finish the surface of (hats) by rubbing with sandpaper or the like.
Origin of pounce3
Examples from the Web for pounce
In the event, in the long cat and mouse game that Stalin played with him, the cat did not pounce.
Before long, though, the cat did pounce on friends, and family, and colleagues.
It was easy for the media to pounce when he admitted to lacking a comprehensive strategy for tackling ISIS.The Rhinohawks Come Roaring Back
September 7, 2014
The SPLC points to Tom DeWeese as one of the first pounce on the U.N. plan.Agenda 21: The U.N. Conspiracy That Just Won’t Die
April 13, 2014
And for that, boycott-divestment supporters have been quick to pounce.No One Loves a Liberal Zionist
December 17, 2013
The cat was about to pounce down on the eggs when the Pope laid hold of it.The Eternal City
The clerk dusted the document with pounce, and handed it to the Duke.The Historical Nights' Entertainment
There was an ink-horn, a box of pounce, some quills, and a sheaf of paper there.The Historical Nights Entertainment, Second Series
Then he thought it would be an easy thing to pounce upon Daikoku.Japanese Fairy World
William Elliot Griffis
She had two dwarfs of sons; one was named Spy, and the other Pounce.
- (intr; often foll by on or upon) to spring or swoop, as in capturing prey
- the act of pouncing; a spring or swoop
- the claw of a bird of prey
- (tr) to emboss (metal) by hammering from the reverse side
- a very fine resinous powder, esp of cuttlefish bone, formerly used to dry ink or sprinkled over parchment or unsized writing paper to stop the ink from running
- a fine powder, esp of charcoal, that is tapped through perforations in paper corresponding to the main lines of a design in order to transfer the design to another surface
- (as modifier)a pounce box
- to dust (paper) with pounce
- to transfer (a design) by means of pounce
Word Origin and History for pounce
1680s, originally "to seize with the pounces," from Middle English pownse (n.) "hawk's claw" (see pounce (n.)). Meaning "to jump or fall upon suddenly" is from 1812. Figurative sense of "lay hold of eagerly" is from 1840. Related: Pounced; pouncing.
"claw of a bird of prey," late 15c., pownse, probably from Old French ponchon "lance, javelin; spine, quill" (Modern French poinçon; see punch (v.)). So called for being the "claws that punch" holes in things. In falconry, the heel claw is a talon, and others are pounces. Meaning "an act of jumping or falling upon" is from 1825. In Middle English also the name of a tool for punching holes or embossing metal (late 14c.).