I have a ball that is not bouncing back from the ground too high because it doesn't contain much rubber in it. And I also have another ball that is made either of rubber or resin of some tree. This second ball bounces back very very high. How can I describe this second ball? The ball is very "jumpy"? Or what?

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    Your question reminded me the story of Winnie the Pooh and his friend, Tigger "The wonderful about Tiggers. Is that Tiggers are wonderful things. Their tops are made out of rubber And their bottoms are made out of springs! They’re bouncy, trouncy, flouncy, pouncy, Fun, fun, fun, fun, fun!
    – Mari-Lou A
    Jun 25, 2013 at 22:05
  • Is it a Super Ball? This is brand name ball that is super bouncy and will bounce almost all the way back to the height from which it is dropped. Apr 15, 2016 at 21:37

1 Answer 1


Informally, you can describe the ball which bounces well as being bouncy. This is a commonly used adjective to describe it.

If you happen to need a more precise description, you can say that the ball which bounces well is very elastic, though this is less commonly used than bouncy is. And similarly the ball which does not bounce well is inelastic.

The definition of elastic to describe how well the ball bounces comes from physics, in which interactions which conserve energy are said to be elastic while interactions which lose energy are said to be inelastic. This is why elastic is a more precise, though less common, adjective to describe the bounce of a ball.

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    That's a good answer, Walter. In this part of the world, children often play with small, rubber balls that bounce. For as long as I can remember, they have always been called bouncy balls.
    – Tristan
    Jun 25, 2013 at 10:14
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    @Tristan : They are usually called bouncy balls where I'm from in the US as well. However, the physicist in me requires that I give the precise adjective description in addition to the common one.
    – Walter
    Jun 25, 2013 at 10:36
  • +1 I would have written elastic. "Bouncy" is good for children, but ELL is for grownups too, so the answer would be incomplete without elastic.
    – Kaz
    Dec 2, 2013 at 2:35

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