pounce on

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pounce on (someone or something)

1. To physically leap or jump on (someone or something). I can't believe your cat pounced on my face! All I was doing was trying to rub its belly. Sarah could barely keep herself from pouncing on her boyfriend as he got off the train from Toronto.
2. To seize or take advantage of (something, such as a chance or opportunity) with great alacrity or enthusiasm. I understand wanting to weigh your options, but I think you'd be a fool not to pounce on the job they've offered you. I saw an opening where I might score a goal, so I pounced on it and took the shot!
3. To criticize, berate, or verbally attack someone. You don't need to pounce on me just because I said your favorite film is overrated!
See also: on, pounce
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2022 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

pounce (up)on someone or something

to spring or swoop upon someone or something; to seize someone or something. (Upon is formal and less commonly used than on.) As Gerald came into the room, his friend Daniel pounced on him and frightened him to death. The cat pounced upon a mouse.
See also: on, pounce
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

pounce on

1. To jump, leap, or bound onto something or someone: The cat pounced on the mouse and killed it. We saw a falcon pounce on a rabbit.
2. To criticize or attack someone verbally: He suddenly pounced on me for not returning his book.
3. To take advantage of something enthusiastically, as an opportunity; jump at something: She pounced on the chance to move to New York and go to law school.
See also: on, pounce
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.
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References in periodicals archive ?
But the girl was so frightened she thought it was preparing to pounce upon her. According to the police, the girl called up the emergency number and said that a crocodile was found in the garden of her family's house sticking out its tongue and preparing to attack her.
The former Alaska Governor was caught on video as she glanced at notes written on her palm while making a speech, giving rival Democrats an opportunity to pounce upon her grade school trick.