Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Financial, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
burst the bubble of (someone)
To upset or destroy someone's belief, conviction, or mood by delivering news that runs contrary to what he or she holds to be true. I hate to burst the bubble of everyone here, but this period of economic success will not last long.
pop (someone's) bubble
To disprove, ruin, or destroy someone's fantasy, delusion, or misbelief. A less common variant of "burst (someone's) bubble." Sorry to pop your bubble, Janet, but Sarah only went out on a date with you to make Suzie jealous. Sean took pleasure in popping the environmentalist's bubble, explaining to him that renewable energy devices cause huge environmental damage to produce.
pop the bubble of (someone)
To disprove, ruin, or destroy someone's fantasy, delusion, or misbelief. A less common variant of "burst the bubble of (someone)." The Supreme Court ruling is likely to pop the bubble of all the activitists who were in favor of overturning the case.
burst (one's) bubble
To bring someone back to reality, especially if they are dreaming or fantasizing about something unrealistic. Look, I hate to burst your bubble, but there is no way you're getting into Harvard! You're a C student!
1. Lit. [for boiling or effervescent liquid] to spill or splatter over the edge of its container. The pot bubbled over and put out the flame on the stove. The stew bubbled over.
2. Fig. [for someone] to be so happy and merry that the joy "spills over" onto other people. She was just bubbling over, she was so happy. Lily bubbled over with joy.
bubble up (through something)
[for a liquid] to seep up or well up through something, such as from between rocks, through a crack in the floor, or through a hole in the bottom of a boat. The water bubbled up through a crack in the basement floor.
burst someone's bubble
Fig. to destroy someone's illusion or delusion; to destroy someone's fantasy. I hate to burst your bubble, but Columbus did not discover Canada. Even if you think I am being foolish, please don't burst my bubble.
half a bubble off plumb
Fig. giddy; crazy. She is acting about half a bubble off plumb. What is wrong with her? Tom is just half a bubble off plumb, but he is all heart.
to appear suddenly When she laughs, a happy child's laugh bubbles up out of her. The most interesting ideas in education have bubbled up in places as different as New York and Arizona.
Etymology: based on the literal meaning of bubble up (to rise to the surface of a liquid)
burst somebody's bubblealso burst the bubble of somebody
to tell someone unexpected bad news I don't want to burst her bubble by telling her we won't have a vacation this summer. He tries to burst the bubble of anyone who believes population growth is not a problem.
on the bubble
equally likely to experience either of two results The Cougars, who looked like they'd definitely be in the tournament a week ago, are suddenly a team on the bubble. Some states will vote for the Democrats, and some are likely to vote for the Republicans, but Arizona is on the bubble.Related vocabulary: (live) on the edge
Etymology: based on the idea that something on the surface of a bubble is as likely to roll in one direction as in another
the bubble bursts
a very happy or successful period of time suddenly ends (usually in past tenses) The economy was booming, then the bubble burst with the stockmarket crash of October 1987.
1. To rise and spill over the edges of a container while boiling or effervescing: Soup bubbled over from the hot pan. Better turn the heat down; your stew is bubbling over!
2. To be full of some emotion, to the point where one cannot resist expressing it: We were bubbling over with excitement at the good news.
1. To rise due to a bubbling motion: Water bubbled up through the hole in the boat. Foam always bubbles up onto the counter when I wash the dishes.
2. To rise or increase steadily in intensity: Anger bubbled up in his chest when he heard their crude remarks.
3. To express some positive emotion: She bubbled up with joy when she got accepted into college.
bubble waterand bubbles
n. champagne. More bubble water, or do you want something stronger? I just love the way bubbles tickles my little old nose.
See bubble water
half a bubble off plumb
phr. giddy; crazy. Tom is just half a bubble off plumb, but he is all heart.
on the bubble
On the brink of a new development or condition, especially in danger of being cut from a sports team: "These are the players on the bubble, the ones who are not sure if they have made the team" (Jason Diamos).