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[bluhb-er] /ˈblʌb ər/
Zoology. the fat layer between the skin and muscle of whales and other cetaceans, from which oil is made.
excess body fat.
an act of weeping noisily and without restraint.
verb (used without object)
to weep noisily and without restraint:
Stop blubbering and tell me what's wrong.
verb (used with object)
to say, especially incoherently, while weeping:
The child seemed to be blubbering something about a lost ring.
to contort or disfigure (the features) with weeping.
disfigured with blubbering; blubbery:
She dried her blubber eyes.
fatty; swollen; puffed out (usually used in combination):
thick, blubber lips; blubber-faced.
Origin of blubber
1250-1300; Middle English bluber bubble, bubbling water, entrails, whale oil; apparently imitative
Related forms
blubberer, noun
blubberingly, adverb Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for blubbering
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • He woke in the cabin before the fire, and found Tom Lennard blubbering hard over him.

    A Dream of the North Sea James Runciman
  • Meanwhile Will plucked Hamnet now blubbering on his stool, by the doublet.

    A Warwickshire Lad George Madden Martin
  • He sat awhile, sulky and all but blubbering; then hastily rose, and stalked out of the room in high dudgeon.

  • "Go home and learn your manners," he had shouted at the blubbering boy.

    The Foolish Lovers St. John G. Ervine
  • He hunted around for her all day, and came in last night nearly starved to death, and whimpering and blubbering.

  • He was blubbering in her arms, hysterically, as she caressed him.

    The Adventurer Cyril M. Kornbluth
  • Jack was wildly excited, blubbering and waving his arms about.

    Blackbeard: Buccaneer Ralph D. Paine
  • Blood admonished him in a whisper, alarmed by the lad's blubbering.

    Captain Blood Rafael Sabatini
  • And she felt she could not forgive the boy for being the huddled, blubbering object, all wet and snivelled, which he was.

    The Rainbow D. H. (David Herbert) Lawrence
British Dictionary definitions for blubbering


to sob without restraint
to utter while sobbing
(transitive) to make (the face) wet and swollen or disfigured by crying
a thick insulating layer of fatty tissue below the skin of aquatic mammals such as the whale: used by man as a source of oil
(informal) excessive and flabby body fat
the act or an instance of weeping without restraint
(Austral) an informal name for jellyfish
(often in combination) swollen or fleshy: blubber-faced, blubber-lips
Derived Forms
blubberer, noun
Word Origin
C12: perhaps from Low German blubbern to bubble, of imitative origin
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for blubbering

c.1400, present participle adjective from blubber (v.). Originally of fountains, springs, etc.; of weeping, from 1580s. As a verbal noun, from 1570s.



late 14c., blober "a bubble, bubbling water; foaming waves," probably echoic of bubbling water. Original notion of "bubbling, foaming" survives in the figurative verbal meaning "to weep, cry" (c.1400). Meaning "whale fat" first attested 1660s; earlier it was used in reference to jellyfish (c.1600) and of whale oil (mid-15c.). As an adjective from 1660s.


late 14c., "to seethe, bubble," from blubber (n.). Meaning "to cry, to overflow with weeping" is from c.1400. Related: Blubbered; blubbering.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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blubbering in Science
The thick layer of fat between the skin and the muscle layers of whales and other marine mammals. It insulates the animal from heat loss and serves as a food reserve.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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Slang definitions & phrases for blubbering



Fat; avoirdupois (1700s+)


To weep; snivel (1300s+)

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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