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A military term used by Robert A. Heinlein in his first-rate novel Starship Troopers, it is synonymous with the more commonly used phrases of on the ball and on your toes. In other terms, it means being in a state of readiness and awareness, and usually involves thinking one step ahead.
Sarge was really cracking down this week, so our squad had to be on the bounce 24/7.

My nephew's chess skills have dramatically improved, so whenever I play him I have to be on the bounce if I really want to win.
by Dan in Real Life March 10, 2008
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