anal sac


: one of the usually paired small pouches of glandular tissue that are located on either side of the anus between the internal and external anal sphincters of various animals (such as dogs, cats, skunks, and foxes) and that discharge often strong-smelling secretions into the anus : anal gland
I don't think anyone truly knows why dogs have anal sacs, but the most prominent theory is that they are used as a marking scent.Jim Berg, News Journal (Wilmington, Delaware), 24 June 2008

Word History

First Known Use

1826, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of anal sac was in 1826

Love words?

You must — there are over 200,000 words in our free online dictionary, but you are looking for one that’s only in the Merriam-Webster Unabridged Dictionary.

Start your free trial today and get unlimited access to America's largest dictionary, with:

  • More than 250,000 words that aren't in our free dictionary
  • Expanded definitions, etymologies, and usage notes
  • Advanced search features
  • Ad free!

Dictionary Entries Near anal sac

Cite this Entry

“Anal sac.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 May. 2024.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!