[verb ri-bound, ree-bound; noun ree-bound, ri-bound]
verb (used without object)
  1. to bound or spring back from force of impact.
  2. to recover, as from ill health or discouragement.
  3. Basketball. to gain hold of rebounds: a forward who rebounds well off the offensive board.
verb (used with object)
  1. to cause to bound back; cast back.
  2. Basketball. to gain hold of (a rebound): The guard rebounded the ball in backcourt.
  1. the act of rebounding; recoil.
  2. Basketball.
    1. a ball that bounces off the backboard or the rim of the basket.
    2. an instance of gaining hold of such a ball.
  3. Ice Hockey. a puck that bounces off the gear or person of a goalkeeper attempting to make a save.
  1. on the rebound,
    1. after bouncing off the ground, a wall, etc.: He hit the ball on the rebound.
    2. after being rejected by another: She didn't really love him; she married him on the rebound.

Origin of rebound

1300–50; Middle English (v.) < Middle French rebondir, equivalent to Old French re- re- + bondir to bound2
Can be confusedrebound redound resound Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

British Dictionary definitions for on the rebound


verb (rɪˈbaʊnd) (intr)
  1. to spring back, as from a sudden impact
  2. to misfire, esp so as to hurt the perpetratorthe plan rebounded
noun (ˈriːbaʊnd)
  1. the act or an instance of rebounding
  2. on the rebound
    1. in the act of springing back
    2. informalin a state of recovering from rejection, disappointment, etche married her on the rebound from an unhappy love affair

Word Origin for rebound

C14: from Old French rebondir, from re- + bondir to bound ²
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 on the rebound



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.



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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with on the rebound

on the rebound

Reacting to or recovering from an unhappy experience, especially the end of a love affair. For example, A month after breaking up with Larry, Jane got engaged to Bob, a classic case of being on the rebound. This metaphoric term, alluding to the bouncing back of a ball, has been used in the present sense since the mid-1800s, although rebound alone had been used figuratively for much longer.


see on the rebound.

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