Origin of bounce

1175–1225; Middle English buncin, bounsen, variant of bunkin, apparently cognate with Dutch bonken to thump, belabor, bonzen to knock, bump
Related formsbounce·a·ble, adjectivebounce·a·bly, adverb

Synonyms for bounce

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for bounce

Contemporary Examples of bounce

Historical Examples of bounce

British Dictionary definitions for bounce



(intr) (of an elastic object, such as a ball) to rebound from an impact
(tr) to cause (such an object) to hit a solid surface and spring back
to rebound or cause to rebound repeatedly
to move or cause to move suddenly, excitedly, or violently; springshe bounced up from her chair
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
(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
(tr) slang to force (a person) to leave (a place or job); throw out; eject
(tr) British to hustle (a person) into believing or doing something


the action of rebounding from an impact
a leap; jump; bound
the quality of being able to rebound; springiness
informal vitality; vigour; resilience
British swagger or impudence
informal a temporary increase or rise
the bounce Australian rules football the start of play at the beginning of each quarter or after a goal
get the bounce or give the bounce US informal to dismiss or be dismissed from a job
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
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for bounce

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.


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

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with bounce


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
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.