Dead cat bounce


      • temporary recovery or improvement
        Describing a situation where there is a brief and small improvement or recovery before the situation declines again

      • false hope
        Referring to a situation where a small positive development gives the illusion of a larger improvement or recovery, but ultimately does not lead to long-term success

      • futile effort
        Describing a pointless or ineffective attempt to revive or improve a situation, similar to trying to revive a dead cat

    Examples of Dead cat bounce

    • The stock market experienced a dead cat bounce after its steep decline, but experts predict that it will continue to decline in the long run.

      A dead cat bounce is a temporary increase in price that occurs after a significant decline in the market. It is called a dead cat bounce because it is as fleeting and meaningless as a dead cat that bounces when it lands. This phrase is used to indicate that the current rise in prices is not a sign of a sustained recovery but rather a temporary pause before a further decline.

    • The company's sales showed a dead cat bounce in the third quarter but fell again in the fourth quarter.

      In this example, the phrase is used to indicate that the sales temporarily increased in the third quarter but then declined again in the fourth quarter. It suggests that the increase in sales was not a sign of a sustained recovery but rather a short-lived jump followed by a decline.

    • After the news of the CEO's resignation, the company's stock took a nosedive, but it experienced a dead cat bounce the following day.

      This example highlights the suddenness with which the stock price dropped due to the resignation of the CEO. The phrase "dead cat bounce" adds an element of sarcasm, indicating that the temporary increase in the stock price following the steep decline is as meaningless as a dead cat bouncing.

    • The housing market seems to have hit a dead cat bounce after its prolonged decline.

      Here, the phrase is used to indicate that the housing market has experienced a short-lived increase in prices following a significant decline. However, it does not suggest a sustained recovery and indicates that the market may still be in crisis.

    • The stock's sudden rise last week is only a dead cat bounce. It'll soon fall again.

      This expression explains that it seems that the market price of the stock has suddenly increased, but it will not last long. Similar to a dead cat that falls to the ground and bounces a little due to the force of hitting, a stock price may slightly increase after a steep fall, but will soon reverse again.

    • GDP grew by 0.4% in the third quarter, but that's just a dead cat bounce. We're not out of the woods yet.

      Here, the expression is used to describe a temporary increase in Gross Domestic Product (GDP), implying that it's just a small improvement after a period of decline. The expression shows that there are still unresolved issues in the economy, and the growth figures need to be interpreted with caution.

    • The pound bounced back against the euro yesterday, but that's just a dead cat bounce. The fundamentals of the British economy are still weak.

      This idiom is used to explain a temporary improvement in the value of a currency, which is immediately followed by a decline. After explaining the temporary increase, the statement indicates that there is no concrete improvement in the underlying strength of the British economy, and thus the positive development is likely to be followed by a further decrease in the value of the pound.

    • The monthly jobless claim figures showed a small drop, but that's just a dead cat bounce. We must remain vigilant and supportive of the growth initiatives announced in the latest budget.

      This idiom use illustrates that although the statistical figures reported a small decrease in the number of jobless claims, it could be transitory, and a further upward trend could resume soon. Therefore, the statement advocates staying watchful and supportive of measures like budgetary initiatives aimed at improving the economy.


    The idiom "dead cat bounce" has multiple meanings, all of which describe a temporary or false recovery or improvement in a situation. It can be used to caution against engaging in a particular activity or task, as it is likely to result in disappointment or failure. It can also describe a futile effort to turn a situation around, giving the illusion of progress without any substantial change.

    Overall, the idiom conveys a sense of hopelessness and futility, emphasizing the inevitability of a negative outcome despite any temporary improvements.

    Origin of "Dead cat bounce"

    The origin of the idiom "dead cat bounce" is uncertain, but it is believed to have originated in the world of finance and stock trading. The phrase refers to a small and temporary recovery in the stock market after a significant decline, similar to a dead cat bouncing off the ground before ultimately falling again.

    The first recorded use of the phrase was in the book "The Money Game" by Adam Smith in 1967, where he mentions the term being used by stock traders. Since then, it has become a commonly used phrase in finance to describe short-term market fluctuations.

    The metaphor of a dead cat bouncing is used to convey the idea that even though there may be a temporary uptick, the situation is ultimately doomed and will continue to decline. It is a colorful and memorable way to describe a futile effort or false hope, making the idiom a popular choice in both financial and everyday contexts.