General English


  • verb to be returned by the bank to the person who has tried to cash it, because there is not enough money in the payer’s account to pay it

Cars & Driving

  • verb to chatter or bounce instead of closing properly at high speeds.
  • verb to push down and release a corner of a vehicle


  • noun a multiple key contact caused by a faulty switch
  • noun an electronic mail message that could not be correctly delivered and is returned to the sender


  • noun the quality in the wicket that determines the extent to which a bowled ball will rise after pitching. A ‘plumb’ wicket is characterised by its even and predictable bounce, but on wickets less favourable to batting the ball may rise more steeply than usual or (worst of all from the batsman’s point of view) it may behave inconsistently from one delivery to the next, exhibiting ‘variable bounce’.
    Citation ‘If the wicket is wet then only a light roller is used as a heavy one will draw up moisture and affect the bounce’ (Harry Brind, WCM December 1983)
    Citation ‘What all players crave is a bit of pace in a pitch and consistent bounce’ (Simon Hughes, Jargonbusting: Mastering the Art of Cricket 2002)
  • noun the extent to which a bowler is able to make the ball rise from the wicket after pitching
    Citation ‘Fowler was quickly undone by Garner’s steep bounce’ (Michael Carey, Daily Telegraph 1 June 1984)
  • verb to bowl a bouncer at a batsman
    Citation ‘I could see nothing wrong in bouncing Whitney, who is one of those irritating tail-enders who stop the straight balls and miss the wide ones’ (Brearley 1982)
    Citation ‘Amarnath … found it easy to hook over the boundary and it was apparent that the West Indies bowlers were soon wary of bouncing him’ (Rajan Bala, Cricinfo Magazine May 2006)


  • An abnormal, sudden, and short-lived variation in the brightness or vertical position of images displayed by a TV.
  • An undesired condition in which there is a spontaneous opening, or the intermittent opening or closing of contacts, when such contacts are moved to the open or closed position. Also called contact bounce.

Information & Library Science

  • noun electronic mail that is returned to the sender because the address is incorrect or the user is not known at the mail server

Media Studies

  • verb to reflect light from a source onto a subject to make it less harsh


  • to leave
  • to behave aggressively. The word has been used in this sense by London teenagers since the 1990s, but bounce denoting swagger dates from the late 17th century.

Origin & History of “bounce”

Bounce is something of a mystery word. When it first appears in middle English it means ‘hit’, and it does not acquire its modern sense ‘rebound’ until the late 16th century. There are similar words in other Germanic languages, such as Dutch bons ‘thump’, but there is no reason to suppose that any of them is actually the source of the English word. many etymologists incline to the view that bounce is an independent onomatopoeic formation.