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


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

Keep scrolling for more

Synonyms & Antonyms for bubble

Synonyms: Verb

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

Antonyms: Verb

pour, roll, stream

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

However, less than 48 hours after the engagement announcement, and someone has already stepped into to burst the bubble. Lucy Wood, Marie Claire, "Who is Jose Canseco, Alex Rodriguez's Yankees Colleague Speaking Out on His Relationship?," 11 Mar. 2019 When the dot-com bubble reached its apex on March 10, 2000, the prices put on that era’s major tech companies made them simply too... Justin Lahart, WSJ, "On Tech Bubble Anniversary, Be Wary of New Corporate Giants," 8 Mar. 2019 Oil foam is not as effective a lubricant as a full-liquid stream, so the inhibitors are used to cause the foam bubbles to collapse. Paul Weissler, Popular Mechanics, "How to Pick the Right Motor Oil for Your Car," 14 Feb. 2019 One style that keeps popping up on the natural hair circuit is the bubble pony. Nykia Spradley, Allure, "Afro Puff Bubble Ponytails Are My New Favorite Protective Style," 26 July 2018 San Diego startups pulled in the largest amount of venture capital in the June quarter since the tech bubble of the early 2000s, fueled by investments in biotech/health care companies. Mike Freeman, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Venture capital surges for San Diego County startups in second quarter," 12 July 2018 The bear was enjoying his time in the bubbles, but needed a little something extra. Kate Hogan, PEOPLE.com, "This Bear in a Hot Tub Drinking a Margarita Is All of Us Today," 4 July 2018 The resulting wall treatment creates an ever-so-subtle nod to bubbles foaming from a bath, a motif the designer repeated with a globe pendant and sconces from Visual Comfort. Hadley Keller, House Beautiful, "Creative Tile Turns a Scary '90s Bathroom Into a Fresh, Fun Space," 27 Feb. 2019 After draping the dress in muslin, Moralioglu and his team built out several iterations of the look in the fil-coupé material, tweaking and perfecting the bubble-like shape. Amanda Brooks, Vogue, "From Sketch to Dress: How Erdem Revived an Italian Principessa in Custom Fil Coupé," 26 Feb. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The conversation first bubbled up on Twitter, after one user shared a conversation between her and another one of her followers about a Swedish Instagram influencer with over 200k followers. Teryn Payne, Glamour, "White Influencers Appearing Black Is the Instagram Trend No One Asked For," 14 Nov. 2018 Months ago, the discontent some African-American voters have been feeling toward her over the lack of her presence in their neighborhoods bubbled over into public view at a town hall with state Rep. Bruce Franks Jr., a Democrat from St. Louis. Ella Nilsen, Vox, "Republican Josh Hawley defeats Sen. Claire McCaskill in Missouri Senate race," 7 Nov. 2018 The old tweets bubbled up again when People named Shelton Sexiest Man of the Year in 2017. Sasha Savitsky, Fox News, "Blake Shelton: From small-town Oklahoma boy to country superstar," 10 Aug. 2018 Confidence: High Tomorrow night: A few clouds may bubble up again, helping to buoy temperatures (unfortunately) like an insulating blanket in the atmosphere. A. Camden Walker, Washington Post, "D.C.-area forecast: New heat wave begins today, and the humidity will become oppressive by Sunday," 29 June 2018 The season has been bubbling up for a final showdown between the coven of witches, which also includes Billie Lourd’s Mallory seemingly having the potential power to defeat Langdon and save the entire world. Kelsea Stahler, Teen Vogue, "The Resurgence of Witches in Pop Culture Like Sabrina, AHS "Coven," and "Charmed" Reflects Women in the Real World," 14 Nov. 2018 Criticism over the update has been bubbling all weekend, with Chrome engineer and manager Adrienne Porter Felt explaining the change on Twitter late last night. James Vincent, The Verge, "Google criticized for Chrome change that logs users in without telling them," 24 Sep. 2018 The topic of workplace bullying has been bubbling up more and more recently. Jessica Press, Redbook, "Women Need to Know They Don't Have to Take Bullying in the Workplace," 19 Sep. 2018 Although veterans have been petitioning for decades for improved pensions, jobs and medical care upon leaving the PLA, frustration has been bubbling in recent months. Washington Post, "Large army veteran protests in China pose challenge for Xi," 28 June 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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about bubble

Statistics for bubble

Last Updated

20 Mar 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for bubble

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

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.

Keep scrolling for more

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).


to reflect, repel, echo, or resound

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Original Meanings Quiz

  • rembrandt-painting-a-young-scholar-and-his-tutor
  • Which of the following is the earliest known sense of the word awe?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!