v. bounced, bounc·ing, bounc·es
1. To rebound after having struck an object or a surface.
2. To move jerkily; bump: The car bounced over the potholes.
3. To bound: children bouncing into the room.
4. To be left unpaid because of an overdrawn account: a check that bounced.
5. Computers To be sent back by a mail server as undeliverable: That email bounced because I used "com" instead of "net."
6. Baseball To hit a ground ball to an infielder: The batter bounced out to the shortstop.
1. To cause to strike an object or a surface and rebound: bounce a ball on the sidewalk.
2. To present or propose for comment or approval. Often used with off: bounced a few ideas off my boss.
a. To expel by force: bounced him from the bar.
b. To dismiss from employment. See Synonyms at dismiss.
4. To write (a check) on an overdrawn bank account.
a. A rebound, as of a ball from the ground.
b. A sudden bound or upward movement: The bike went over the rock with a bounce.
c. The capacity to rebound; spring: a ball with bounce.
d. A sudden increase: got a bounce in the polls.
2. Cheerfulness or liveliness: "He had managed to recover much of his bounce and spirit" (Paul Auster).
3. Slang Expulsion; dismissal: was given the bounce from the job.
a. A fast, energetic style of hip-hop originating in New Orleans and characterized by repetitive, often sexual call-and-response lyrics.
b. A style of dance performed to this music characterized by rapid body movements, especially of the gluteal and hamstring muscles in a way that resembles bouncing while keeping the feet on the ground.
5. Chiefly British Loud, arrogant speech; bluster.
To recover quickly, as from a setback: The patient bounced back to good health.
[Probably from Middle English bounsen, to beat.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.