blad·​der | \ ˈbla-dər How to pronounce bladder (audio) \

Definition of bladder

1a : a membranous sac in animals that serves as the receptacle of a liquid or contains gas especially : urinary bladder
b : a gas- or air-filled vesicle in certain algae and aquatic plants (such as rockweed) : air bladder sense b
2 : something (such as the rubber bag inside a football) resembling a bladder

Other Words from bladder

bladderlike \ ˈbla-​dər-​līk How to pronounce bladder (audio) \ adjective

Examples of bladder in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web On the flip side, senior dogs cannot hold their bladder as long as younger dogs. Olivia Munson, USA TODAY, 24 July 2022 Based on the comedian Sarah Silverman’s memoir of the same name, the show focuses on the plight of a 10-year-old girl, named not coincidentally Sarah Silverman ( Zoe Glick ), whose bladder is as leaky as her mouth is foul. Charles Isherwood, WSJ, 9 June 2022 Overactive bladder is a major cause of incontinence. Dr. Keith Roach, oregonlive, 12 Nov. 2021 Your bladder, colon and rectum all sit in your pelvic cavity — in addition to reproductive organs and various muscles, Dr. King points out. Kaitlyn Pirie, Good Housekeeping, 24 June 2022 Certain types can cause gastroenteritis, conjunctivitis (otherwise known not so affectionately as pink eye), or cystitis, which is inflammation of your bladder. Bruce Y. Lee, Forbes, 26 Apr. 2022 Rio, a 26-year-old female Andean bear at the Phoenix Zoo, was euthanized Friday after she was discovered to have developed a large tumor in her bladder. Brock Blasdell, The Arizona Republic, 18 Apr. 2022 This is how therapies like Merck’s Keytruda—which treats metastatic melanoma, non–small cell lung cancer, Hodgkin lymphoma and bladder cancer, among many others—become blockbusters. Allysia Finley, WSJ, 15 June 2022 The cause was complications of bladder cancer and multiple myeloma, said his daughter, Laura. Richard Sandomir,, 12 June 2022 See More

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

First Known Use of bladder

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for bladder

Middle English, from Old English blǣdre; akin to Old High German blātara bladder, Old English blāwan to blow

Learn More About bladder

Time Traveler for bladder

Time Traveler

The first known use of bladder was before the 12th century

See more words from the same century

Dictionary Entries Near bladder




See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for bladder

Last Updated

9 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Bladder.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 Aug. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More Definitions for bladder


blad·​der | \ ˈbla-dər How to pronounce bladder (audio) \

Kids Definition of bladder

1 : an organ in the body resembling a pouch into which urine passes from the kidneys and is temporarily stored until discharged from the body
2 : a container that can be filled with air or gas


blad·​der | \ ˈblad-ər How to pronounce bladder (audio) \

Medical Definition of bladder

1 : a membranous sac in animals that serves as the receptacle of a liquid or contains gas especially : urinary bladder
2 : a vesicle or pouch forming part of an animal body the bladder of a tapeworm larva

More from Merriam-Webster on bladder

Nglish: Translation of bladder for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of bladder for Arabic Speakers


Test Your Vocabulary

Challenging Words You Should Know

  • hedgehog reading a book
  • Often used to describe “the march of time,” what does inexorable mean?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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