noun, often attributive
bub·ble | \ˈbə-bəl \

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 bubble teams still on the bubble for the playoffs


bubbled; bubbling\ˈbə-b(ə-)liŋ \

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

dribble, gurgle, lap, plash, ripple, splash, trickle, wash

Antonyms: Verb

pour, roll, stream

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Examples of bubble in a Sentence


They saw air bubbles in the water. There were bubbles in the ice. The Internet stock bubble finally burst.


the soapy water bubbled down the drain
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

After scaling the volcano with Sandy, our hero uses his small stature and elasticity to set the charge—and the volcano erupts in bubbles, just as Sandy predicted. Sam Walker, WSJ, "Now on Broadway: SpongeBob ChauvinistPants," 11 July 2018 In our current pop-culture awokening, a real-estate-centric story set in a picturesque upper-middle-class bubble might seem dated. Kat Stoeffel, The Cut, "Howards End Is the Anti–Handmaid’s Tale," 17 May 2018 Earn pauses, and the sound drops out behind him, leaving him in a perfect bubble of complete panic. Sonia Saraiya, HWD, "The Survival Instincts of Atlanta’s Flawless Second Season," 11 May 2018 Humans traveling beyond this bubble will be subjected to dangerous cosmic rays and solar storms, which can damage cells and cause changes in DNA. National Geographic, "Chernobyl's Mutated Species May Help Protect Astronauts," 30 Apr. 2018 But Balwani, who made a fortune in the dot-com bubble, might have a lot more for the government to go after. Rebecca Robbins, STAT, "Sign up for our biotech newsletter, The Readout," 19 Mar. 2018 For example, the last time the Fed Funds Rate peaked was June 2006 (5.25%) which coincided with the peak in the housing market bubble and the beginning of the Great Recession of 2008. Stewart Welch, AL.com, "Interest rates are rising- what you should do now," 12 Mar. 2018 Being raised in a Caucasian-free bubble allowed me to view white people objectively, even more so than an immigrant would. Michael Harriot, The Root, "The Root’s Clapback Mailbag: Blame Obama and My Mama," 2 Mar. 2018 Unfortunately, there's a chance that this period won't feel like one long bubble bath. refinery29.com, "Neptune Retrograde Is Coming, So Maybe We Can Finally Chill Out," 15 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The teacher told Aaron that his mom was driving her crazy, and ostracized him for not correctly learning how to bubble in a test, according to the recording. Colleen Wright, miamiherald, "Mom's secret recording catches kindergarten teacher calling 5-year-old a "loser"," 5 July 2018 Despite the gains made earlier in the decade in the Civil Rights Movement, racial unrest bubbled in urban centers. Marissa Vonesh, Smithsonian, "How the Fourth of July Was Celebrated (and Protested) in 1968," 3 July 2018 That demand bubbled up from other ideological organizations, like Indivisible, the group founded after the 2016 election to organize liberals in congressional districts. David Weigel, chicagotribune.com, "Democratic insurgents want to 'abolish ICE.' Democrats aren't there yet.," 24 June 2018 Gone is the occasional uncertainty that bubbled up on Coming Apart, replaced with the assurance of two instrumentalists who've spent years on the road together and know exactly how to weave in and out of each other's space. Joe Lynch, Billboard, "Kim Gordon & Bill Nace on Body/Head's Second Album and the 'Freedom' of a Niche Audience," 13 July 2018 The standoff is a replay of tensions that have periodically bubbled up between Merkel and Seehofer since the height of the refugee crisis in 2015 and 2016, only this time there is no obvious way out. Patrick Donahue, Bloomberg.com, "Five Ways Merkel’s Coalition Crisis Could Blow Up or Blow Over," 15 June 2018 Trump often openly muses about replacements for his aides without follow-through, and speculation has bubbled up about Kelly and other aides in the past without action. Ken Thomas, BostonGlobe.com, "Trump says he has ‘good relationship’ with chief of staff," 30 June 2018 Exhaled air is led away and bubbles out the sides, while fresh air enters from above. Bradley J. Fikes, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Diving masks from San Marcos company helped rescue of Thai boys from cave," 11 July 2018 As a black man, there is an underlying tension between him and some of the other survivors, which bubbles over into deadly quarrels about how best to stay alive through the night. Jef Rouner, Houston Chronicle, "‘Night of the Living Dead’: What a zombie classic says about death in America," 3 July 2018

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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Learn More about bubble

Phrases Related to bubble

blow bubbles

bubble bath

burst someone's bubble

Statistics for bubble

Last Updated

2 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for bubble

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

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More Definitions for bubble



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 \

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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Comments on bubble

What made you want to look up bubble? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


a state of commotion or excitement

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