par·​u·​re·​sis ˌpär-(y)ə-ˈrē-səs How to pronounce paruresis (audio)
: an inability to urinate in the presence of others (as in a public restroom) : the fear of being unable to initiate or sustain urination when other people are nearby
Paruresis, or intense fear of public urination, is common and often disabling. Many people are simply unable to relieve themselves during, for example, a busy break time.Adi Bloom

called also bashful bladder, bashful bladder syndrome, shy bladder, shy bladder syndrome

paruretic adjective
paruretic symptoms
paruretic noun
plural paruretics
Paruretics are unable to urinate if they are under time constraints, if they use a public bathroom or even in their own home if someone is within earshot. Lisa Spinelli

Examples of paruresis in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Despite the little research done on paruresis, it can be treated. Dario Sabaghi, Discover Magazine, 18 Dec. 2020 Researchers say that the causes of paruresis are complex. Dario Sabaghi, Discover Magazine, 18 Dec. 2020 Depending on the severity of the condition, paruresis can limit someone's quality of life. Dario Sabaghi, Discover Magazine, 18 Dec. 2020

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'paruresis.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1954, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of paruresis was in 1954

Dictionary Entries Near paruresis

Cite this Entry

“Paruresis.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 Apr. 2024.

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