Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • intransitive v. To rebound at least once from a surface.
  • n. The act or an instance of ricocheting.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A method of firing a projectile so that it skips along a surface.
  • n. An instance of ricocheting; a glancing rebound.
  • v. To rebound off something wildly in a seemingly random direction.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A rebound or skipping, as of a ball along the ground when a gun is fired at a low angle of elevation, or of a fiat stone thrown along the surface of water.
  • intransitive v. To skip with a rebound or rebounds, as a flat stone on the surface of water, or a cannon ball on the ground. See ricochet, n.
  • transitive v. To operate upon by ricochet firing. See ricochet, n.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To bound by touching the earth or the surface of water and glancing off, as a cannon-ball.
  • n. The motion of an object which rebounds from a flat surface over which it is passing, as in the case of a stone thrown along the surface of water.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. spring back; spring away from an impact
  • n. a glancing rebound

Etymologies

French, from Old French, give-and-take.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From French ricochet. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • For a dozen heartbeats Ferrol stared at the display, listening to the word ricochet around his brain.

    Warhorse

  • One cannot help jumping when death, in the form of a piece of flying lead, hits the rail beside him, or the mast over his head, or whines away in a ricochet from the steel shrouds.

    Chapter 47

  • I was still hearing Acer's name ricochet around the inside of my head.

    Asimov's Science Fiction

  • Q: Earlier this year you said you'd prefer the secondary be referred to as ricochet rather than toast.

    Inside the Panthers

  • I just didn't understand that the ricochet is the second part you can't hide what you intend, it glows in the dark once you start the path of revenge there's no way to stop the more I try to hurt you the more it hurts me strange, it seems like a character mutation though I have all the means of bringing you fuckers down

    Killing the Buddha

  • The angle of fire produces only a rare ricochet which is caught by the aforementioned dirt hill.

    A Valentine for Gun Nuts

  • The senator says he'll now "ricochet" among South Carolina, Iowa and New Hampshire, starting with a Southern swing next week.

    McCain's New Hampshire Glimmer

  • But if you're outside that charmed circle -- or, even worse, suffer a "ricochet" because of the actions of someone within it -- then Cohen's message is, "Suck it up, bitch, this is a tough town."

    Archive 2006-05-01

  • WHITFIELD: And, Maria, are officials believing, at this point, that at least in the Kuta area, that this explosion took place solely in this restaurant and then, because of the kind of ricochet effect, the other nearby businesses were impacted?

    CNN Transcript Oct 1, 2005

  • Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe on Saturday warned white commercial farmers against organising themselves to assault landless blacks, saying such attacks could "ricochet".

    ANC Daily News Briefing

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