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 The alternative is to live in your home, don't get vaccinated, but never ever leave your home or live in a bubble. Spencer Neale, Washington Examiner, "'Power' to 'plunge a needle into your arm': Dershowitz says forced vaccinations are constitutional," 19 May 2020 Trump and his White House team have been operating in a virus-safe bubble, thanks to the rapid coronavirus tests provided to senior staff and anyone who meets with the president. Anchorage Daily News, "Trump tours, touts mask factory — but no mask for him," 6 May 2020 Trump and his White House team have been operating in a virus-safe bubble, thanks to the rapid coronavirus tests provided to senior staff and anyone who meets with the president. Zeke Miller, Jill Colvin And Darlene Superville, Houston Chronicle, "Trump tours mask factory without wearing mask," 6 May 2020 Trump and his White House team have been operating in a virus-safe bubble, thanks to the rapid coronavirus tests provided to senior staff and anyone who meets with the president. Time, "White House Hopes to Wind Down COVID-19 Task Force as Trump Visits Arizona Mask Factory," 5 May 2020 Previously, influencers have often been in a bubble with their work and [coronavirus] has made everyone pivot towards a lot more 'useful' content with relevant takeaways. Vicky Spratt, refinery29.com, "What Is The Role Of Influencers In The Age Of Coronavirus?," 24 Apr. 2020 The coronavirus crisis will hammer profits that were already in a bubble, and due for a fall. Shawn Tully, Fortune, "Stocks are now overpriced by 22%, according to this rule," 21 Apr. 2020 The EpiShuttle, a hospital gurney enclosed in a bubble of plastic and studded with sealed access ports, keeps contagious patients isolated while on the move—eliminating the need to disinfect ambulances and helicopters after each run. Nicholas Wallace, Science | AAAS, "Watch out Silicon Valley: European Union gets into the venture capital game," 8 Apr. 2020 Changes caused by noise pollution do not occur in a bubble. Brigit Katz, Smithsonian, "Noise Pollution Impacts a Wide Range of Species, Study Finds," 22 Nov. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb In same pot, melt butter over medium heat, whisk in flour and cook until roux is bubbling and light in color, about 2 minutes. Dallas News, "Four Fort Worth chefs share their favorite comfort food recipes," 11 May 2020 Start with a thin layer of tomato sauce, then add cheese, maybe pepperoni, and return to the oven for 5 to 10 minutes, until the cheese is bubbling. Sarah Jampel, Bon Appétit, "How to Turn Basically's Focaccia into Focaccia PIZZA!," 25 Apr. 2020 Brush or spoon the glaze on top of the meatballs and broil for another 2 to 4 minutes or so, until the glaze is tinged with brown and bubbling, and the meatballs are done at their centers. Melissa Clark, New York Times, "Use Any Kind of Ground Meat in This Spicy Meatball," 22 Apr. 2020 Bake until filling is bubbling and tops are golden brown, 30 to 35 minutes. The Good Housekeeping Test Kitchen, Good Housekeeping, "Strawberry-Rhubarb Crumbles," 10 Apr. 2020 Top with the mashed potatoes, starting around the edges to create a seal to prevent the mixture from bubbling up and smooth with a rubber spatula. Paul Stephen, ExpressNews.com, "Recipe: Alton Brown’s Lamb Shepherd’s Pie," 8 Apr. 2020 In the late 1990s, a body of magma intruded beneath Norris, and fluids trapped within the magma bubbled out and made their way through the rocky labyrinth above them. National Geographic, "See the Full Archive," 19 Mar. 2020 Drop the temperature to 350°F and continue cooking until the crust is evenly golden brown and the juices are bubbling and thickened, 30–40 more minutes for fresh berries or 60–70 minutes for frozen. Popular Science, "This Alaskan town is a crucial stop on the Iditarod—for its pie," 13 Mar. 2020 Firms and their supply chains are being forced to make disruptive adjustments which will eventually bubble up and spill over into the broader economy. The Economist, "The World in 2020 Prepare for an unusual kind of downturn," 30 Dec. 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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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

28 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Bubble.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/bubble. Accessed 31 May. 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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