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 country’s benchmark 10-year yield is on track to fall below its two-year equivalent for the first time since the collapse of the Japanese economic bubble in 1991. BostonGlobe.com, "Stories you may have missed from the world of business," 5 Aug. 2019 In early June, Jones went to Michigan International Speedway one point to the good of the playoff bubble and left seven points outside after a 31st-place finish. Bob Pockrass, USA TODAY, "Erik Jones seeks to boost NASCAR playoff position, shore up contract with Joe Gibbs Racing," 1 Aug. 2019 At the peak of the housing bubble, the average price-to-rent ratio in the U.S. rose to about 21, well outside the range housing investors consider safe. Karl W. Smith, Twin Cities, "Karl W. Smith: The next housing bubble could come from technology," 18 July 2019 That's the second highest reading in the past half-century, exceeded only by the 148.5 posted at the peak of the dot.com bubble on March 30, 2000. Shawn Tully, Fortune, "One of Warren Buffet’s Favorite Metrics is Flashing Red—a Sign That Corporate Profits Are Due for a Hit," 17 July 2019 Happily, there is no evidence of a speculative bubble on a par with that in housing back then. The Economist, "For how long can today’s global economic expansion last?," 12 July 2019 Slip 'n Foam Party Take the family to Forest Park in Noblesville to play and slip 'n slide into a giant pile of bubbles. Chris Sims, Indianapolis Star, "9 best things to do with kids in Indianapolis in July," 3 July 2019 At the peak of the housing bubble, the average price-to-rent ratio in the U.S. rose to about 21, well outside the range housing investors consider safe. Karl W. Smith, chicagotribune.com, "The next housing bubble could come from technology," 2 July 2019 Despite his prior accomplishments, his first dabbles outside of the Madrid bubble were unsuccessful. SI.com, "Rafa Benitez: The Conqueror of La Liga Who Masterminded That Comeback in Istanbul," 1 July 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The initial incident bubbled over on the team plane prior to a road trip during the 2017 season. Chris Bumbaca, USA TODAY, "David Price vs. Dennis Eckersley feud rages on two years later: 'I just think it's trash'," 17 July 2019 Over the past few years, there have been a lot of exciting new shoe brands bubbling up on our social feeds and in street style. Glamour, "11 New Shoe Brands to Shop in 2019," 5 July 2019 The rule-breaking styling trick first started bubbling up on the runway a couple of years ago with brands such as Balenciaga, Celine, and Saint Laurent all proposing strappy sandals with a kaleidoscope of colorful hosiery. Liana Satenstein, Vogue, "Lily-Rose Depp Pulls a Fashion Faux Pas on the Red Carpet—and Wins," 18 Dec. 2018 While Soros's statement may have been the most candid and public slight at Gillibrand, anger with her continues to bubble on the left. Eugene Scott, Washington Post, "George Soros and sexism on the left in the age of #MeToo," 11 June 2018 Add beans to a medium saucepan and bring to bubbling on stovetop, then remove from heat, cover and keep warm. Jennifer Rude Klett, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Meat & greet: It’s time to restore the butcher shop tradition," 5 June 2018 Some bad feelings bubbled up again on Monday when the New York Times wrote a straight-forward story on Heimlich's presence on the Beavers baseball team. John Canzano, OregonLive.com, "Canzano: Oregon State hired Brenda Tracy to consult... just not about Luke Heimlich Rule," 7 May 2018 Some 18 hours earlier, rumors had bubbled up on social media suggesting that outfielder Alex Gordon might start the season in the minor leagues. Maria Torres, kansascity, "No, Alex Gordon is not being demoted. He'll get at-bats in minor-league games though | The Kansas City Star," 21 Mar. 2018 Thousands of gallons of the chemical mixture bubbled through the Windsor plant and out into the Farmington River. Gregory B. Hladky, courant.com, "An ‘emerging pollutant’ in the Farmington River triggers claims about misinformation, worries about burning contaminated sludge," 17 July 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

7 Aug 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

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