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 bubble teams 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

dribble, guggle, 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

The Star cancelation came on the heels of the Jussie Smollett controversy, which resulted in Daniels’ shows being put on the bubble, with Star getting canceled and Empire announcing that next season would be its last. Marcus Jones, EW.com, "Lee Daniels says his canceled Fox series Star is getting a finale movie," 6 July 2019 Walker will start training camp on the roster bubble and let’s face it, the only reason the Broncos haven’t given up on him yet is because of his draft status. Ryan O'halloran, The Denver Post, "Broncos Mailbag: Can former second-round pick DeMarcus Walker salvage his career?," 2 July 2019 Watson was also on the bubble to make the United States’ Ryder Cup team. Shawn Mcfarland, courant.com, "Bubba Watson and the Travelers Championship share a unique connection," 15 June 2019 Hard to believe a season on the bubble will change that. Sam Mellinger, kansascity, "Mellinger Minutes: Bobby Witt Jr., Ned Yost, Patrick Mahomes and dad’n," 4 June 2019 The distinguished American economic historian Earl J. Hamilton reportedly spent fifty years working on a life but produced only a few papers on the Mississippi bubble. Edward Chancellor, The New York Review of Books, "The Man Who Invented Money," 18 Apr. 2019 The announcements came after The Times’s two-part investigation revealed that over more than a decade, taxi industry leaders had created a financial bubble in the medallion market. Brian M. Rosenthal, New York Times, "Facing Ruin, Taxi Drivers to Get $10 Million Break and Loan Safeguards," 12 June 2019 All this easy credit helped fuel an American slave-asset and land bubble in the 1830s, driving an economic boom backed by Southern state governments that collapsed in the panic of 1837, the country’s worst financial crisis of the nineteenth century. Sarah Churchwell, The New York Review of Books, "‘The Lehman Trilogy’ and Wall Street’s Debt to Slavery," 11 June 2019 According to multiple social media users, some lipsticks contained bits of what appeared to be hair, others noted their product was damaged, and some pointed out apparent bubbles and holes in the lipstick. Lauren Rearick, Teen Vogue, "Jaclyn Hill Cosmetics Customers Have Reportedly Found Hair and Bubbles in Their Lipsticks," 11 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The historic 18th century chateau is the epitome of Provencal grandeur, with its gilded interiors, sculpture gardens, and bubbling fountains. Vogue, "From Amal Clooney’s Palazzo to Chrissy Teigen’s Villa—13 Stunning Celebrity Wedding Venues That You Can Rent," 5 July 2019 In the evening, opt to stop by the Secret Lagoon for a soothing soak in geothermal waters, then settle into our hotel in Hveragerði, a town built around its own bubbling hot spring. National Geographic, "Iceland Family Journey: Geysers, Glaciers, and Fjords," 17 June 2019 Since the compact space the surface is getting mapped into — something like a sphere or a doughnut surface — has only a finite number of holes around which bubbles can form, there are only finitely many of these bubbling singularities. Quanta Magazine, "Karen Uhlenbeck, Uniter of Geometry and Analysis, Wins Abel Prize," 19 Mar. 2019 Bake the pie until the top is browned and the filling has started to bubble at the edges, 45-50 minutes. ExpressNews.com, "Recipe: Tex-Mex Tomato Pie," 12 June 2019 Meanwhile, all the resentments that lay behind the vote continue to bubble away unaddressed. Jonathan Coe, Time, "How Brexit Broke Britain and Revealed a Country at War With Itself," 6 June 2019 The story behind the story: This won’t be the only Surface news bubbling up in April. Brad Chacos, PCWorld, "Microsoft's Surface Book 2 gains a faster quad-core Core i5 CPU over the weekend," 1 Apr. 2019 The show’s lightness and Kimmy’s innocence are always a foil for something dark bubbling underneath. Alissa Wilkinson, Vox, "Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt deftly takes on #MeToo and terrible men in season 4," 30 May 2018 As these findings continue to bubble up, keep an eye on the work of microbiologist Jim Bowie and colleagues at the University of California, Los Angeles, who are working on converting sugar into CBD without the genetic modification of cells. Jill Kiedaisch, Popular Mechanics, "Scientists Use Yeast to Produce Cannabinoids Affordably and Efficiently," 1 Mar. 2019

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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Statistics for bubble

Last Updated

10 Jul 2019

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 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

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with bubble

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for bubble

Spanish Central: Translation of bubble

Nglish: Translation of bubble for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of bubble for Arabic Speakers

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).


food or victuals

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