Definition of ricochet in US English:

ricochet

verb

  • 1no object, with adverbial of direction (of a bullet, shell, or other projectile) rebound one or more times off a surface.

    ‘a bullet ricocheted off a nearby wall’
    • ‘Bullets can ricochet off water, rocks, trees, metal, and other hard surfaces.’
    • ‘A third officer, PC James Banks, 26, escaped injury when a bullet ricocheted off his radio belt and the buckle on his baton.’
    • ‘The bullet ricocheted, lightly wounding the man in the leg.’
    • ‘Since bullets can ricochet off the water's surface and pose a risk to nearby civilians, water patrol officers almost never fire warning shots.’
    • ‘When I refuse to hand over my confidential patient files, he pulls out a pistol and fires multiple shots at my desk, one bullet ricocheting off my nameplate and embedding itself in my beeper.’
    • ‘The ship's only reported mishap came when a coxswain was hit in the neck (but not badly wounded) by a bullet ricocheting off a modern pentathlete's target.’
    • ‘This time the bullet ricochets off the stone fireplace behind Deuterium Boy and embeds itself in the piano, causing the figurine to topple off and shatter on the ground.’
    • ‘Lucas instinctively covered his head as the attack endured, the bullets ricocheting against every surface they struck.’
    • ‘Bullets ricochet off rock surfaces, and broken glass crunches underneath your boots.’
    • ‘The bullet ricochets off the back of the trapdoor and Gail jerks in terror.’
    • ‘Course Manager Col. Bavornrat Maitreeprasat said bullets will frequently ricochet off something nearby or on the shooting range and fall on the course.’
    • ‘A third officer, PC James Banks, was also shot at, but escaped injury when a bullet ricocheted off his radio harness.’
    • ‘James and Vassilli realized that their position was entirely too exposed when bullets started ricocheting from underneath the truck.’
    • ‘The bullet ricocheted off a lower rib and ripped a lung.’
    • ‘Ben quickly ducked behind a sturdy looking refrigerator - just as the assassin jammed her finger down on the trigger and sent bullets ricocheting all over the kitchen in screeching showers of sparks.’
    • ‘In the cross fire, a bullet ricocheted off of Torrance's skull, breaking the bone and sending him into shock.’
    • ‘Then bullets started ricocheting off the outside of our building.’
    • ‘The new mix is wonderfully enveloping with bullets ricocheting and voices echoing around in the cavernous locations when appropriate.’
    • ‘Bullets ricochet off the armored supply vehicle.’
    • ‘This, of course, was almost as hazardous to the pilot as to the enemy aircraft, with bullets sometimes ricocheting back at the gunner.’
    rebound, be deflected
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1with object and adverbial of direction Cause to rebound off a surface.
      ‘they fired off a couple of rounds, ricocheting the bullets against a wall’
      • ‘Cal stopped to swallow back the familiar burst of palpitations that ricocheted a steady duh-pa-dum against the straining walls of his over-stretched chest.’
      • ‘I ricochet my eyes between her and Hubba Hubba Boy.’
      • ‘MEMs use tiny reflective surfaces to redirect light beams to a desired port by either ricocheting the light off neighboring reflective surfaces or steering the light beam directly to a port.’
      • ‘From what Fai could see it looked as if James was trying to ricochet the ball against the wall and into a corner pocket.’
      • ‘Leadoff man Fernando Vina ricocheted a single off first base.’
      • ‘What's more likely to shake your equilibrium is that the room is covered in hard, reflective surfaces that ricochet sound.’
      • ‘The design of these things are to fire out of these things down at the ground, to ricochet them off the ground and to hit people in the legs to cause them to disperse.’
      • ‘The wizard of Wishaw was not to be denied, however, conjuring a remarkable - and intentional - shot in which he ricocheted one red off another and into the top corner.’
      • ‘It cracked against my skull, ricocheting me into some decrepit shelving holding water damaged pornography, destroying it in a jumble of splinters and dust.’
      • ‘But Mr Foster suddenly crashed through the door, ricocheting the flyscreen against wall, and wrenching the boy from her arms.’
      • ‘It was scripted by Johnny Speight when this red-brick apartment block just off the Bayswater Road was a real fun factory and Ray Galton and Alan Simpson also ricocheted one-liners round a rented room.’
      • ‘The resulting tracks ricocheted their sound in woozy, rubbery, Carl Stalling-esque patterns.’
      • ‘These last for about 30 seconds or so, and will ricochet enemy fire right back at their senders.’
      • ‘It had actually been so long since I'd had a real shower, that I accidentally ricocheted the bar of soap around the small shower.’
    2. 1.2 Move or appear to move with a series of rebounds.
      ‘the sound ricocheted around the hall’
      • ‘Yes, it's a lot of short-wave radio signals, data transmissions, signals ricocheting around in the stratosphere, as well as the sounds of an analog synthesizer.’
      • ‘A door thudded against the concrete walls and the sound ricocheted down to my ears.’
      • ‘Yet, no matter how quiet your voice was, it still echoed around the temple, the sounds ricocheting off the spherical chamber's walls.’
      • ‘Something appeared to be ricocheting inside the pipe, but what could it be?’
      • ‘The playstation gunshot sounds were ricochetting off the walls and embedding themselves directly into the noise control centre of my brain.’
      • ‘Cold water is what keeps the Gulf Stream moving up the Atlantic coast and northeastward after it ricochets off the shoals under Cape Hatteras.’
      • ‘Bouncing her lines off the walls of the theatre whilst we amazedly watch them ricochet, this actress, whose gestures appear to be based on the erotic friezes of Indian temples, is something else.’
      • ‘That was all she had time to say, for in the next moment, a loud sound ricocheted throughout the entire hall and she watched in horror as the roof fell towards her.’
      • ‘In some of the open squares of Cuzco, ricocheting lines seem to lead from box to box, while in others the arrangement of lines is a little sharper, denser and more closed, like an outlined star.’
      • ‘The theme for Michael Caine's gangster film Get Carter, written at the age of 23, lays ricocheting trains, chilling harpsichord and funky tablas over a swaggering bass line.’
      • ‘I couldn't hear anything except our screams, which ricocheted off the houses and sounded in my ears.’
      • ‘Changes in light from the time of day and local weather tint the boxes as they dematerialize in ricocheting reflections.’
      • ‘Both sounds ricochet continuously off the shadowed and soot-covered brick walls.’
      • ‘Tibetans were sacrificed by Nehru in 1954 in return for Beijing's hand of friendship, a move that ricocheted in 1962.’
      • ‘The heat was ricocheting round the Sport Hall and the home crowd was blasting out encouragement to Marino Columbu the Sardinian star wrestler.’
      • ‘They could hear their cries ricocheting off the trees and appearing to come out of the soil itself, filling their ears with the beautiful song that made the company's spine tingle.’
      • ‘And tragically for the series, it ricocheted back too far in the other direction and delivered an insanely difficult multi-stage nightmare.’
      • ‘The sound ricochets off the walls, and across the wooden floor.’

noun

  • 1A shot or hit that rebounds one or more times off a surface.

    • ‘The developer also appears to have paid special attention to weapons effects, with pyrotechnical ricochets and brightly flaring muzzle flashes particularly deserving of praise.’
    • ‘The use of the spinning was to dodge the ricochets of Richard's blasts.’
    • ‘The use of pea gravel on the range floor collected lead dust and created uncontrollable ricochets, while rounds penetrated the overhead baffles.’
    • ‘Gunfights become remarkably tense, exciting affairs as you take cover in a crossfire of whistling ricochets.’
    • ‘You've got the tracers flying all over you, and ricochets whistling all around you wherever you go.’
    • ‘There were almost as many missiles scattered about in front of her from ricochets as there were imbedded in the wall far beyond.’
    • ‘When Vitaly Kutuzov slipped the ball past Craig Gordon after just six minutes, his finish the clinical conclusion to an unfortunate sequence of defensive ricochets, the support that was perhaps Scotland's biggest asset was silenced.’
    • ‘The bulk of the audio is operating in the original center channel mix, with only music and the aforementioned ricochets really traveling much.’
    • ‘This leaves the in-game soundscape uncluttered for the player to appreciate aural effects like explosions, ricochets, and muzzle reports.’
    • ‘When shooting for practice, make sure your backstop will prevent ricochets and protect bystanders.’
    • ‘The frangible ammo disintegrates on target, meaning there is no back splash or ricochets to harm the shooter or other bystanders.’
    • ‘Gavin, chancing a shot at him, rolls violently out across the street, drawing attention from every gun within a mile, narrowly escaping a few ricochets.’
    • ‘I believe they use ceramic bullets which are designed to fragment on hitting a hard object, preventing ricochets and depressurisation.’
    • ‘The .22 Magnum shotgun is quiet enough to avoid annoying the neighbors, and there's no danger of ricochets or damage downrange.’
    • ‘They search out hotel rooms least exposed to hostile fire or ricochets.’
    • ‘Herman screamed over the ricochets and explosions around the base.’
    • ‘The neighbour who gave me the tickets was an impecunious artist and I was sitting in the cheap seats, just out of range, even from ricochets.’
    • ‘This led to a messy sequence and several ricochets later the ball was in Easkey's net for a second time.’
    • ‘The Dolphin is a powerful gun, somewhat reminds me of a sniper rifle and makes cool ricochets.’
    • ‘Due to its design concept, the FAP round is intrinsically safe from ricochets as the core breaks up on ground impact.’
    1. 1.1 The action or movement of a bullet, shell, or other projectile when rebounding off a surface.
      • ‘The reduced over-penetration and reduced ricochet characteristics of these rounds are nothing short of revolutionary.’
      • ‘A day later, on ‘The McLaughlin Group,’ rhetorical ricochet was well underway.’
      • ‘Designed to be highly effective while reducing the danger from over-penetration or ricochet, the projectile is designed to totally fragment into fine particles upon impact.’
      • ‘The practice of low-level skip bombing, particularly employed in attacks on shipping during WW II, relied upon ricochet for its effect.’
      • ‘The probability of ricochet decreases as the impact angle increases.’
      • ‘While some of the action in the low end has been enhanced, the surround effects consist mostly of the same ricochet noise inserted willy-nilly into the action scenes.’
      • ‘They would satisfactorily bust a clay pipe or knock over a duck without the risk of ricochet.’
      • ‘No, Galan patiently explained to the jury, it was universally used by police because it was safer to the public in terms of reduced ricochet and over-penetration.’
      • ‘The city would pay for the electricity, and ricochet would provide the pole-tops.’
      • ‘There were times during the opening period when the Ibrox pitch was ricochet central, the ball bouncing off legs, chests and backs as the encounter degenerated into a messy, unstructured affair.’
      • ‘Fights broke out Saturday and Sunday among about 100 Iraqis and drew several shotgun blasts, damaging several cars and a shop and leaving four people with minor ricochet wounds.’
      • ‘It breaks up instantly and completely on impact, with no ricochet or lead accumulation.’
      • ‘One point of concern is that there are no ricochet effects, which is a little unusual when you consider the less than absorbent nature of the Plaza's interior.’
      • ‘Weapon effects are distinct for each armament, and there's an impressive array of different ricochet sounds, dependant on the surface type you fire at.’
      • ‘Having admitted the possibility of claims for psychiatric injury by such ricochet victims, the courts faced the problem of determining how wide the scope of liability should be drawn.’

Origin

Mid 18th century: from French, of unknown origin.

Pronunciation