Idioms

    burst someone’s bubble, to diminish someone’s enthusiasm or optimism, especially with a reminder of sobering facts or realistic expectations.

Origin of bubble

First recorded in 1300–50; Middle English noun bobel; cognate with Middle Dutch bobbel, bubbel, Middle Low German bubbele, Swedish bubbla
Related formsbub·ble·less, adjectivebub·ble·like, adjectivebub·bling·ly, adverb
Can be confusedbabble bauble bubble
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019


Examples from the Web for bubble

Contemporary Examples of bubble

Historical Examples of bubble

  • The crest is a bubble, and really the effect produced by it is most ludicrous.

    Vivian Grey

    Earl of Beaconsfield, Benjamin Disraeli

  • The captain's triumphant exuberance continued to bubble over.

    Cap'n Dan's Daughter

    Joseph C. Lincoln

  • His mother listened for the simmer and bubble of the water on the fire.

  • The wild justice of this idea made the blood to bubble in his ears.

    The Manxman

    Hall Caine

  • Life itself is a bubble and a skepticism, and a sleep within a sleep.

    Essays, Second Series

    Ralph Waldo Emerson


British Dictionary definitions for bubble

bubble

noun

a thin film of liquid forming a hollow globule around air or a gasa soap bubble
a small globule of air or a gas in a liquid or a solid, as in carbonated drinks, glass, etc
the sound made by a bubbling liquid
something lacking substance, stability, or seriousness
an unreliable scheme or enterprise
a dome, esp a transparent glass or plastic one

verb

to form or cause to form bubbles
(intr) to move or flow with a gurgling sound
(intr; often foll by over) to overflow (with excitement, anger, etc)
(intr) Scot to snivel; blubber
See also bubble under

Word Origin for bubble

C14: probably of Scandinavian origin; compare Swedish bubbla, Danish boble, Dutch bobbel, all 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

Word Origin and History for bubble
n.

early 14c., perhaps from Middle Dutch bobbel (n.) and/or Middle Low German bubbeln (v.), all probably of echoic origin. Bubble bath first recorded 1949. Of financial schemes originally in South Sea Bubble (1590s), on notion of "fragile and insubstantial."

v.

mid-15c., perhaps from bubble (n.) and/or from Middle Low German bubbeln (v.), probably of echoic origin. Related: Bubbled; bubbling.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

bubble in Culture

bubble

A period of wild speculation in which the price of a commodity or stock or an entire market is inflated far beyond its real value. Bubbles are said to “burst” when a general awareness of the folly emerges and the price drops.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.