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. © 2015 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 classic literature ?
The children had discovered the glittering hoard, and when in a mischievous mood used to fling showers of moidores, diamonds, pearls and pieces of eight to the gulls, who pounced upon them for food, and then flew away, raging at the scurvy trick that had been played upon them.
Later, the accused pounced upon them with rods and subjected them to severe physical torture.
According to Fatima Bibi mother of the accused, her sons wanted to sell the house and on her refusal they pounced upon them with batons, clubs and hatchets and seriously injured her and her two young daughters Fiza and Raqayya.