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English Wikipedia has articles on:
A soap bubble.


Partly imitative, also influenced by burble. Compare Middle Dutch bobbe (bubble) > Dutch bubbel (bubble), Low German bubbel (bubble), Danish boble (bubble), Swedish bubbla (bubble).


  • IPA(key): /ˈbʌb.əl/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -ʌbəl


bubble (plural bubbles)

  1. A spherically contained volume of air or other gas, especially one made from soapy liquid.
  2. A small spherical cavity in a solid material.
    bubbles in window glass, or in a lens
  3. Anything resembling a hollow sphere.
  4. (economics) A period of intense speculation in a market, causing prices to rise quickly to irrational levels as the metaphorical bubble expands, and then fall even more quickly as the bubble bursts (eg the South Sea Bubble).
  5. (obsolete) Someone who has been ‘bubbled’ or fooled; a dupe.
    • Prior
      Granny's a cheat, and I'm a bubble.
    • 1749, Henry Fielding, Tom Jones, Folio Society 1979, p. 15:
      For no woman, sure, will plead the passion of love for an excuse. This would be to own herself the mere tool and bubble of the man.
  6. (figuratively) The emotional and/or physical atmosphere in which the subject is immersed; circumstances, ambience.
    • 2012 June 3, Nathan Rabin, “TV: Review: THE SIMPSONS (CLASSIC): “Mr. Plow” (season 4, episode 9; originally aired 11/19/1992)”, in (Please provide the book title or journal name)[1]:
      He’s wrapped up snugly in a cozy bubble of self-regard, talking for his own sake more than anyone else’s.
    • 2011 January 23, Alistair Magowan, “Blackburn 2 - 0 West Brom”, in BBC[2]:
      Thomas, so often West Brom's most positive attacker down their left side and up against Salgado, twice almost burst the bubble of excitement around the ground but he had two efforts superbly saved by Robinson.
  7. (Cockney rhyming slang) a Greek (also: bubble and squeak)
  8. A small, hollow, floating bead or globe, formerly used for testing the strength of spirits.
  9. The globule of air in the spirit tube of a level.
  10. Anything lacking firmness or solidity; a cheat or fraud; an empty project.
    • Shakespeare
      Then a soldier [] / Seeking the bubble reputation / Even in the cannon's mouth.
  11. (Cockney rhyming slang) A laugh (also: bubble bath).
    Are you having a bubble?!
  12. (computing) Any of the small magnetized areas that make up bubble memory.
  13. (poker) The point in a poker tournament when the last player without a prize loses all their chips and leaves the game, leaving only players that are going to win prizes. (e.g., if the last remaining 9 players win prizes, then the point when the 10th player leaves the tournament)
    Many players tend to play timidly (not play many hands) around the bubble, to keep their chips and last longer in the game.



  • (a spherically contained volume of gas enclosed by a thin film of liquid, or within a volume of liquid): antibubble (a spherically contained volume liquid enclosed by a thin film of gas, or within a volume of gas)

Derived termsEdit


The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout#Translations.


bubble (third-person singular simple present bubbles, present participle bubbling, simple past and past participle bubbled)

  1. (intransitive) To produce bubbles, to rise up in bubbles (such as in foods cooking or liquids boiling).
  2. (intransitive, figuratively) To churn or foment, as if wishing to rise to the surface.
    • 1853, Elizabeth Cleghorn Gaskell, Ruth
      The blood bubbled up to her brain, and made such a sound there, as of boiling waters, that she did not hear the words which Mr. Bradshaw first spoke []
    Rage bubbled inside him.
  3. (intransitive, figuratively) To rise through a medium or system, similar to the way that bubbles rise in liquid.
    • 2002, David Flanagan, JavaScript: the definitive guide
      The target of this event is the most deeply nested common ancestor of all changes that occurred in the document, and it bubbles up the document tree []
  4. (transitive, archaic) To cheat, delude.
    • 1749, Henry Fielding, Tom Jones, Folio Society 1973, p. 443:
      No, no, friend, I shall never be bubbled out of my religion in hopes only of keeping my place under another government []
    • Addison
      She has bubbled him out of his youth.
    • Sterne
      The great Locke, who was seldom outwitted by false sounds, was nevertheless bubbled here.
  5. (intransitive, Scotland and Northern England) To cry, weep.


Derived termsEdit



  • Newcastle 1970s, Scott Dobson and Dick Irwin, [3]
  • The New Geordie Dictionary, Frank Graham, 1987, →ISBN
  • A Dictionary of North East Dialect, Bill Griffiths, 2005, Northumbria University Press, →ISBN