noun, often attributive
bub·​ble | \ ˈbə-bəl How to pronounce bubble (audio) \

Definition of bubble

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a small globule typically hollow and light: such as
a : a small body of gas within a liquid
b : a thin film of liquid inflated with air or gas
c : a globule in a transparent solid
d : something (such as a plastic or inflatable structure) that is hemispherical or semicylindrical
2a : something that lacks firmness, solidity, or reality
b : a delusive scheme
3 : a sound like that of bubbling
5 : a state of booming economic activity (as in a stock market) that often ends in a sudden collapse
6 : the condition of being at risk of exclusion or replacement (as from a tournament) usually used in the phrase on the bubbleteams still on the bubble for the playoffs
7 : an enclosed or isolated sphere of experience or activity in which the like-minded members of a homogeneous community support and reinforce their shared opinions the liberal/conservative bubble Countless people … complain that Facebook employees are increasingly living in a bubble.— Nick Bilton
burst someone's bubble
informal : to cause someone to suddenly realize that something believed, trusted, or admired is not really true, good, etc. I hate to burst your bubble high school seniors, but, for most of you, the dreaded cafeteria food isn't going to get any better.— Sarah Tarr


bubbled; bubbling\ ˈbə-​b(ə-​)liŋ How to pronounce bubbling (audio) \

Definition of bubble (Entry 2 of 2)

intransitive verb

1a : to form or produce bubbles
b : to rise in or as if in bubbles usually used with up
2 : to flow with a gurgling sound a brook bubbling over rocks
3a : to become lively or effervescent bubbling with good humor
b : to speak in a lively and fluent manner

transitive verb

1 : to utter (something) effervescently
2 : to cause to bubble

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Synonyms & Antonyms for bubble

Synonyms: Verb

Antonyms: Verb

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Examples of bubble in a Sentence

Noun They saw air bubbles in the water. There were bubbles in the ice. The Internet stock bubble finally burst. Verb the soapy water bubbled down the drain
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Expand your bubble: Give more space when watching groups or mother-calf pairs. Lauren M. Johnson, CNN, "A family was injured after their boat collided with a whale off the coast of Alaska," 30 June 2020 Lmnts Outdoor Studio, along with six other studios in the city, is organizing a number of yoga classes that allow participants to work out in their own, private bubble, Lonely Planet reported. Andrea Romano, Travel + Leisure, "Is Bubble Yoga the Future of Fitness?," 28 June 2020 In the first live team sports since March, the Thorns fell Saturday to the North Carolina Courage to open the Challenge Cup, a month-long bubble-like tournament designed to mitigate the threat of COVID-19 and allow the NWSL to resume. oregonlive, "Portland Thorns fall to North Carolina Courage in NWSL Challenge Cup opener, mark return of live soccer," 27 June 2020 Cook over medium until liquid starts to steam and bubble at edges, stirring frequently with spatula. Casey Barber, Better Homes & Gardens, "Road Trip Eats: Recipes Inspired By Route 66," 26 June 2020 But for the healthy ones, the lucky ones, maybe this time of shut down and slow down has meant more time with the people in their bubble. Doug Lesmerises, cleveland, "Ohio State football parents got the gift of time they never wanted, but cherished," 25 June 2020 But for all the futuristic measures awaiting NBA players in their Orlando, Fla. bubble, maybe the most ambitious is a wearable device called the Oura ring. Ben Cohen, WSJ, "Why Every NBA Player Is Getting a Ring," 22 June 2020 Instead, Siri now looks like a small bubble at the bottom of the screen. Julian Chokkattu, Wired, "Every New iPhone Feature Apple Revealed for iOS 14," 22 June 2020 For those in the Bay Area who have been confined to a bubble-like existence amid the coronavirus pandemic, local beaches can provide an antidote: fresh air, open space and miles of water straight ahead. Tom Stienstra, SFChronicle.com, "Top 10 Bay Area beaches to visit during shelter-in-place," 19 June 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb There are many single people out there who want to bubble up with their family or friends rather than random strangers on dating apps. Rosie Gizauskas, refinery29.com, "Thanks To Coronavirus, I’ve Lost A Crucial Year Of Dating," 22 June 2020 Scott has never quite been able to cope with the loss of his firefighter father as a child, and those issues bubble to the surface in new ways when his mom (Tomei) starts dating Ray (Bill Burr), who also happens to be a member of the FDNY. Derek Lawrence, EW.com, "Pete Davidson hopes to 'put something positive into the world' with King of Staten Island," 13 June 2020 Heat over medium heat until the mixture begins to bubble slightly at the edges. Jessica Battilana, SFChronicle.com, "Vanilla pudding recipe with roasted rhubarb is a cool bowl of comfort," 12 June 2020 But as trends flow inward from the coasts, hype over pét-nat is starting to bubble up in Phoenix. Tirion Morris, azcentral, "Welcome to pet-nat summer. Here's where to buy the natural sparkling wine in metro Phoenix," 12 June 2020 Unlike a traditional documentary, Portable Park eschews a human narrator and instead lets the park speak for itself, with bubbling geysers, howling wolves, and grunting bison stealing the spotlight. Drew Dorian, Car and Driver, "Take a Virtual Tour of Yellowstone National Park with Airstream," 1 May 2020 On a recent Monday, the room was deserted, save for a bubbling tropical fish tank and a few empty chairs. Jenny Gold, SFChronicle.com, "Bay Area pediatric practices struggle to adapt and survive during coronavirus pandemic," 21 Apr. 2020 This technological fix is happening at the same time as a bubbling medical debate among physicians over whether too many coronavirus patients are being placed on traditional ventilators that some argue may do more harm than good. Eric Niiler, Wired, "Modified Sleep Apnea Machines May Ease the Ventilator Crunch," 10 Apr. 2020 The last time the two teams played, Philly cruised to a blowout win, scoring a season-high 141 points and causing murmurs in the locker room about the bubbling frustration during a joyless season. Chris Fedor, cleveland, "Cleveland Cavaliers win second straight game, 108-94, improve to 3-1 under J.B. Bickerstaff," 26 Feb. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'bubble.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of bubble


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


15th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1a

History and Etymology for bubble


Middle English bobel

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Time Traveler for bubble

Time Traveler

The first known use of bubble was in the 14th century

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Statistics for bubble

Last Updated

3 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Bubble.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/bubble. Accessed 4 Jul. 2020.

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More Definitions for bubble


How to pronounce bubble (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of bubble

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a tiny, round ball of air or gas inside a liquid
: a small ball of air in a solid substance
: a very light ball of air inside a thin layer of soap



English Language Learners Definition of bubble (Entry 2 of 2)

: to form or produce bubbles
: to flow with the quiet sound of water moving over rocks
: to be very happy and excited


bub·​ble | \ ˈbə-bəl How to pronounce bubble (audio) \

Kids Definition of bubble

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a tiny round body of air or gas in a liquid bubbles in boiling water
2 : a round body of air within a solid a bubble in glass
3 : a thin film of liquid filled with air or gas soap bubbles

Other Words from bubble

bubbly \ ˈbə-​blē \ adjective


bubbled; bubbling

Kids Definition of bubble (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : to form or produce bubbles
2 : to flow with a gurgle The brook bubbles over rocks.

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More from Merriam-Webster on bubble

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for bubble

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with bubble

Spanish Central: Translation of bubble

Nglish: Translation of bubble for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of bubble for Arabic Speakers

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