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 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for bubbling

Contemporary Examples of bubbling

Historical Examples of bubbling

  • It was red from heat, and the water was bubbling away in its boiler.

    The Dream

    Emile Zola

  • Phoebe's indignation was cumulative always, and was now bubbling into wrath.

    Good Indian

    B. M. Bower

  • He was bubbling over with excitement and the sense of his own huge importance.

    The Slave Of The Lamp

    Henry Seton Merriman

  • Gubblum's porridge was bubbling, and the thivel worked vigorously.

    A Son of Hagar

    Sir Hall Caine

  • Then, at last, when they were alone, he loosed the question that was bubbling on his lips.

    St. Martin's Summer

    Rafael Sabatini

British Dictionary definitions for bubbling



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


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 bubbling



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."



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

bubbling in Culture


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.