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pounce Meaning, Definition & Usage

  1. noun the act of pouncing
  2. verb move down on as if in an attack
    • The raptor swooped down on its prey
    • The teacher swooped down upon the new students

Pounce noun
F. ponce pumice, pounce, fr. L. pumex, -icis, pumice. See Pumice.
  1. A fine powder, as of sandarac, or cuttlefish bone, -- formerly used to prevent ink from spreading on manuscript.
  2. Charcoal dust, or some other colored powder for making patterns through perforated designs, -- used by embroiderers, lace makers, etc.
Pounce transitive verb
imperfect & past participle Pounded ; present participle & verbal noun Pouncing
  1. To sprinkle or rub with pounce; as, to pounce paper, or a pattern.
Pounce noun
Prob. through French, from an assumed LL. punctiare to prick, L. pungere, punctum. See Puncheon, Punch, v. t.
  1. The claw or talon of a bird of prey. Spenser. Burke.
  2. A punch or stamp. Obs. "A pounce to print money with." Withals.
  3. Cloth worked in eyelet holes. Obs. Homilies.
Pounce transitive verb
  1. To strike or seize with the talons; to pierce, as with the talons. Archaic
    Stooped from his highest pitch to pounce a wren. Cowper.
    Now pounce him lightly, And as he roars and rages, let's go deeper. J. Fletcher.
  2. To punch; to perforate; to stamp holes in, or dots on, by way of ornament. Obs. Sir T. Elyot.
Pounce intransitive verb
  1. To fall suddenly and seize with the claws; -- with on or upon; as, a hawk pounces upon a chicken. Also used figuratively.
    Derision is never so agonizing as when it pounces on the wanderings of misguided sensibility. Jeffrey.

Webster 1913