- 1(Of an animal or bird of prey) spring or swoop suddenly so as to catch prey: the wolf pounced on the rat she looked like a vulture waiting to pounceMore example sentences
- The cat pounced on it and took the meat to the back of the bar, under a pool table with a scarred, green felt surface.
- One of the monkeys pounced on a woman holding a child, biting her arm before leaping back into the tree.
- I was quite happy with that, so I couldn't believe it when the dog pounced on my dog.
- 1.1(Of a person) spring forward suddenly so as to attack or seize someone or something: the gang pounced on him and knocked him to the groundMore example sentences
jump on, spring on, leap on, dive on, lunge at, fall on, set on, attack suddenly• informal jump, mug
- Suddenly her pounced on her and they both went under and came up laughing.
- We were escorted into this dressing room, where all these people pounced on us with cases of make-up and racks of clothing.
- I wanted to jump up and hug Jimmy tightly, but he already pounced on me.
- 1.2Notice and take swift and eager advantage of a mistake, remark, or sign of weakness: reporters who are just as eager to pounce on a gaffe as on a significant news storyMore example sentences
- Pedants pounce on such tell-tale signs that what purports to be an image of Shakespeare is really an idealised image of the biographer himself.
- Critics will pounce on their every mistake as evidence that paying teachers for performance is a bad idea.
- Then the Tigers pounce on opponents' mistakes.
nounBack to top
- A sudden swoop or spring.More example sentences
- The time between the pounce and the jump seemed an eternity, although it was only seconds.
- Really and truly it was never going to end in this contest against a home side, who have won their last number of games on the pounce.
- Intensely intimate couplings, ballistic kicks, feral pounces and feisty rolling hips raise the energy level in his Philadelphia rehearsal studio into the red zone.
late Middle English (as a noun denoting a tool for stamping or punching): origin obscure, perhaps from puncheon1. A noun sense 'claw, talon' arose in the late 15th century, which gave rise to the verb (late 17th century).
- 1.1Powdered charcoal or other fine powder dusted over a perforated pattern to transfer the design to the object beneath.More example sentences
- As actual practice can demonstrate, if a pricked design is pounced from its verso, the pounce marks register more distinctly, than if pounced from the recto.
verb[with object] Back to top
- 1Smooth down by rubbing with pounce or pumice.More example sentences
- The example shown in Plate IX is unusual for its green ground, which was achieved by pouncing the surface with copper oxide while the clay was damp.
- 2Transfer (a design) by the use of pounce.More example sentences
- Surviving examples of drawings that have been pounced are indeed disfigured by cloudy smears of charcoal dust.
late 16th century (as a verb): from French poncer, based on Latin pumex 'pumice'.