Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Financial, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
Like this video? Subscribe to our free daily email and get a new idiom video every day!
be bouncing off the walls
To be very active and energetic to the point of hyperactivity. How much sugar did you give the kids? They're bouncing off the walls!
1. verb, slang To leave or depart. A: "Won't you stay a little longer?" B: "Nah, I had better bounce. I've got an early morning tomorrow." Come on, let's bounce. This party is dead.
2. verb, slang To expel someone (from some place) by force. Hey Tony, bounce this clown outta here, will ya? The boss's goons bounced the man from the office, tossing his briefcase and jacket out after him.
3. verb To write a check for an account that has insufficient funds for the amount being drawn. My ex-husband bounced checks all over the state before he disappeared.
4. verb Of a check, to be returned unpaid due to insufficient funds in the account on which it is being drawn. They told me that they would be shutting off our electricity because my last check bounced. The shop has a display containing every check that has ever bounced so as to name and shame the people who tried paying with them.
5. verb Of a bank, to return an unpaid check due to insufficient funds in the account on which it is being drawn. The bank bounced the check I had been given as payment for my services, meaning I had basically done 40 hours of work for free.
6. noun, informal Energy or vitality; pep. She had a lot of bounce coming out of the meeting after the boss agreed to green light her proposal. I hope Bill's all right. He doesn't seem to have much bounce these days.
bounce (something) back and forth
1. Literally, for two or more people to bounce something, typically a ball, between them. It's nice to see the kids out in the back yard bouncing a ball back and forth.
2. To discuss something. I bounced the idea of becoming an actress back and forth with many people before discussing it with my parents.
3. To consider or change between several options. In this usage, a noun or pronoun is not usually used between "bounce" and "back and forth." No, I haven't settled on a college yet—I'm still bouncing back and forth between a few options.
1. Of an object, to move with repeated hops or bounces into the air. The rubber ball bounced along the floor and then rolled into the wall.
2. Of a person, to move with a noticeably cheerful demeanor. He's been bouncing along ever since his crush agreed to go on a date with him.
See also: bounce
1. Of an object, to move erratically with repeated hops into the air. The rubber ball bounced around before finally rolling into the wall.
2. Of a person, to move or change between several different things, such as jobs or places. Well, since I graduated from school, I've just been bouncing around, working any job I can get. That player has bounced around a lot in his short career—in three years, he's already been on five teams!
3. To discuss something with other people by mentioning it informally, in passing, or at various times. In this usage, a noun or pronoun can be used between "bounce" and "around." I bounced around the idea of becoming an actress with many people before discussing it with my parents. Hey, let's bounce your idea around the office to see if anyone wants to join our team.
4. To circulate widely. News of my suspension sure bounced around fast—the whole school already knows about it.
1. Of an object, to return to its starting point by bouncing. I threw the rubber ball against the wall and caught it when it bounced back to me.
2. Of a person, to recover from a setback. The doctors expect her to bounce back and make a full recovery. Kids are resilient, so I'm sure your daughter will bounce back from that scary incident.
bounce for (something)
To pay for something expensive, especially as a treat for oneself or someone else. I decided to bounce for the new video game as a reward to myself for doing so well on my exam. Janet is bouncing for a trip to Disney World for her family this summer.
1. Of an object, to come out of a container or place in a bouncing motion. The ball bounced out of the net.
2. To force someone out of something, such as a particular job or place. Did you hear that the CEO was bounced out by the board of directors?
bounce up and down
To hop up and down. The kids started bouncing up and down when they heard school was closed for the day.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2022 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
1. Lit. to move along bouncing. (As might be done by a ball.) The ball bounced along and finally came to rest. The beach ball sort of bounced along until it came to the water.
2. Fig. [for someone] to move along happily. He was so happy that he just bounced along. He stopped bouncing along when he saw all the work he had to do.
See also: bounce
bounce back(from something)
1. Lit. [for something] to rebound; [for something] to return bouncing from where it had been. The ball bounced back from the wall. A rubber ball always bounces back.
2. and bounce back (after something) Fig. [for someone] to recover after a disability, illness, blow, or defeat. (See also rebound from something.) She bounced back from her illness quickly. She bounced back quickly after her illness.
bounce out (of something)
to rebound out of or away from something. The ball bounced out of the corner into my hands. The ball bounced out of the box it had fallen into.
bounce something around (with someone)
to discuss something with a number of people; to move an idea from person to person like a ball. I need to bounce this around with my family. I need to bounce around something with you.
bounce up and down
to spring up and down due to natural elasticity or from being jostled or thrown. The ball bounced up and down for an amazingly long time. I bounced up and down in the back of that truck for almost an hour.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
1. Move around from one person or place to another. For example, The staff spent the morning bouncing around ideas to improve sales, or She had been bouncing around from one job to another. This term alludes to a ball bouncing among players. [Colloquial; mid-1900s]
2. Treat roughly or unfairly, as in Quit bouncing me around; I won't stand for it. This usage is based on a somewhat earlier meaning of bounce, "to beat up" or "coerce." ] Slang; c. 1970]
Recover quickly, as in She had pneumonia, but she bounced back in less than a week. This expression is a metaphor for the rebound of a ball or some elastic material.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
be bouncing off the wallsINFORMAL
If someone is bouncing off the walls, they are acting in a very uncontrolled and excited way. After another cup of coffee Holly was bouncing off the walls.
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012
be ˌbouncing off the ˈwalls(informal) be so full of energy or so excited that you cannot keep still: He was bouncing off the walls so I told him to go out for a walk.
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017
1. To rebound repeatedly in various directions: The ball landed in my bedroom and bounced around, knocking over a vase on the shelf.
2. To cause something to rebound in various directions: Don't bounce the basketball around in the living room! Let's go outside and bounce around my new rubber ball.
3. To move about energetically or restlessly in various directions: The scared mouse bounced around all over the room. The kids are bouncing around in the back seat of the car.
4. To discuss something with a number of people: I bounced my new idea around at the meeting, and some people gave me some very interesting comments on it.
5. To circulate among a number of people. Used of a name, word, or idea: That rumor has been bouncing around here for years.
1. To rebound after striking an object or a surface: I threw the tennis ball at the wall, and it bounced back and hit me on the head.
2. To recover quickly, as from a setback or illness: Although the surgery was difficult, the patient bounced back to good health very quickly.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Phrasal Verbs. Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
1. in. [for a check] to be returned from the bank because of insufficient funds. (see also rubber (check).) The check bounced, and I had to pay a penalty fee.
2. tv. to write a bad check. He bounced another one, and this time the bank called him up to warn him about what would happen if he did it again.
3. in. to leave; to depart. It’s late. Let’s bounce.
4. tv. [for a bank] to refuse to honor a check. They bounced another of my checks today.
5. tv. to throw someone out. Willie bounced me, and I ran to my car and beat it.
6. n. pep; energy. I never have any bounce when I wake up early.
McGraw-Hill's Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions Copyright © 2006 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.