air bladder

noun

Definition of air bladder

: a sac containing gas and especially air The float tube was an ingenious device built around an inner tube, featuring a seat and backrest created from an additional air bladder in the nylon shell of the rig.— Peter Bodo : such as
a : a saclike organ present in most bony fishes which contains gas and especially oxygen and nitrogen and that serves chiefly to control buoyancy and in some primitive fish (such as the lungfish) functions as an accessory respiratory organ Elasmobranchs lack the air bladder that gives other fishes buoyancy, and their skeletons are made of light cartilage instead of bone.— Steve Kemper Fish make sounds by clicking their teeth, blowing air, and drumming with special muscles against tuned inflated air bladders.— Lewis Thomas

called also swim bladder

b : a gas- or air-filled vesicle in certain algae and aquatic plants (such as rockweed) that helps keep photosynthetic blades and fronds buoyant At the base of each frond is a small air bladder that buoys the blade up to the surface, where it continues to grow while forming a dense canopy approximately 4 feet deep.— Jennifer Winger

called also pneumatocyst

Illustration of air bladder

Illustration of air bladder

A air bladder

Examples of air bladder in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The fish’s thick, spongy, and highly vascular air bladder behaves like a lung to aerate the alligator gar’s blood. National Geographic, "Alligator gar," 25 Feb. 2020 Species such as snappers and groupers have air bladders, which allow them to make fine-scale adjustments in their buoyancy. Popular Science, "Releasing a caught fish isn’t as simple as tossing it overboard," 11 Feb. 2020 The paper was made of cloth, sometimes silk and isinglass, which is somewhat see-through and made from fish air bladders. Jonah Estess, The Conversation, "Curious Kids: Why is money green?," 29 Aug. 2019 Pine, for example, is a wind-pollinated tree, so its pollen has special air bladders to keep it aloft on the lightest breeze. Zoë Schlanger, Quartz, "Forensic pollen scientists are helping the US track opioids," 6 June 2019 It's covered in air bladders and floats along the ocean surface, carrying with it small fish and other small marine animals. Jacob Sweet, miamiherald, "Lots of sun, and brown slimy seaweed, in the forecast for South Florida beaches," 3 July 2018 There are mechanics beneath the creature’s foam-latex skin, controlling the eyes, eyelids, jaw and tongue, and air bladders to simulate vascular activity. Darryn King, WSJ, "In ‘Jurassic World,’ Old-School Effects Make a Comeback," 13 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'air bladder.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of air bladder

1675, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for air bladder

Time Traveler

The first known use of air bladder was in 1675

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Cite this Entry

“Air bladder.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/air%20bladder. Accessed 3 Jul. 2020.

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Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with air bladder

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about air bladder

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