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pounce

1
[ pouns ]
/ paʊns /
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verb (used without object), pounced, pounc·ing.
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.
verb (used with object), pounced, pounc·ing.
to seize (prey) suddenly: The bird quickly pounced its prey.
noun
the claw or talon of a bird of prey.
a sudden swoop, as on an object of prey.
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Origin of pounce

1
First recorded in 1375–1425 (for def. 4); late Middle English; perhaps akin to punch1

OTHER WORDS FROM pounce

pounc·ing·ly, adverb

Other definitions for pounce (2 of 3)

pounce2
[ pouns ]
/ paʊns /

verb (used with object), pounced, pounc·ing.
to emboss (metal) by hammering on an instrument applied on the reverse side.

Origin of pounce

2
First recorded in 1350–1400; Middle English pounsen, pounson, punchen, perhaps identical with pounce1

Other definitions for pounce (3 of 3)

pounce3
[ pouns ]
/ paʊns /

noun
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.
verb (used with object), pounced, pounc·ing.
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 pounce

3
First recorded in 1700–10; from French ponce, ultimately from Latin pūmic-, stem of pūmex pumice

OTHER WORDS FROM pounce

pouncer, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2022

How to use pounce in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for pounce (1 of 3)

pounce1
/ (paʊns) /

verb
(intr; often foll by on or upon) to spring or swoop, as in capturing prey
noun
the act of pouncing; a spring or swoop
the claw of a bird of prey

Derived forms of pounce

pouncer, noun

Word Origin for pounce

C17: apparently from Middle English punson pointed tool; see puncheon ²

British Dictionary definitions for pounce (2 of 3)

pounce2
/ (paʊns) /

verb
(tr) to emboss (metal) by hammering from the reverse side

Word Origin for pounce

C15 pounsen, from Old French poinçonner to stamp; perhaps the same as pounce 1

British Dictionary definitions for pounce (3 of 3)

pounce3
/ (paʊns) /

noun
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
verb (tr)
to dust (paper) with pounce
to transfer (a design) by means of pounce

Derived forms of pounce

pouncer, noun

Word Origin for pounce

C18: from Old French ponce, from Latin pūmex pumice
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
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