Anatomy, Zoology.
  1. a membranous sac or organ serving as a receptacle for a fluid or air.
  2. urinary bladder.
Pathology. a vesicle, blister, cyst, etc., filled with fluid or air.
Botany. an air-filled sac or float, as in certain seaweeds.
something resembling a bladder, as the inflatable lining of a football or basketball.
an air-filled sac, usually made to resemble a club, used for beatings in low comedy, vaudeville, or the like.

Origin of bladder

before 900; Middle English; Old English blǣddre, blǣdre bladder, blister, pimple; cognate with Old Norse blāthra, dialectal Dutch bladder, German Blatter; akin to blow2
Related formsblad·der·less, adjectiveblad·der·like, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for bladder

Contemporary Examples of bladder

  • She lost control of her bladder as she crouched in a corner, shaking, and unable to move her body due to the shock.

    The Daily Beast logo
    Whip It: Secrets of a Dominatrix

    Justin Jones

    November 25, 2014

  • Kerri Kasem said in court Friday that her father was suffering from bedsores and lung and bladder infections.

  • Prick the bladder with a needle every so often,” she advises sagely, “to keep it from exploding.

    The Daily Beast logo
    The Queen of the French Kitchen

    Katie Baker

    March 26, 2014

  • The girl, Mariam, was born with her bladder outside her body.

    The Daily Beast logo
    The Heroes of Iraq

    Justin Green

    March 20, 2013

  • The news comes after the her husband, the Duke of Edinburgh, was  hospitalised twice with a bladder infection last year.

    The Daily Beast logo
    Queen Has Trots

    Tom Sykes

    March 2, 2013

Historical Examples of bladder

  • "Both," said Black Tom, scratching his big head, as bald as a bladder.

    The Manxman

    Hall Caine

  • If Black Tom had not been as bald as a bladder, he would have torn his hair in his mortification.

    The Manxman

    Hall Caine

  • He worried himself so much in trying to escape that he looked like a bladder.

  • After the blood had accumulated in the cavity of the chest it was removed and put into a bladder.

  • And when all of them were tied on, the raft floated like a bladder.

British Dictionary definitions for bladder



anatomy a distensible membranous sac, usually containing liquid or gas, esp the urinary bladderRelated adjective: vesical
an inflatable part of something
a blister, cyst, vesicle, etc, usually filled with fluid
a hollow vesicular or saclike part or organ in certain plants, such as the bladderwort or bladderwrack
Derived Formsbladdery, adjective

Word Origin for bladder

Old English blǣdre
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for bladder

Old English blædre (West Saxon), bledre (Anglian) "(urinary) bladder," also "blister, pimple," from Proto-Germanic *blaedron (cf. Old Norse blaðra, Old Saxon bladara, Old High German blattara, German Blatter, Dutch blaar), from PIE *bhle- "to blow" (see blast). Extended senses from early 13c. from animal bladders used for buoyancy, storage, etc.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for bladder




Any of various distensible membranous sacs, such as the urinary bladder, that serve as receptacles for fluid or gas.
A blister, pustule, or cyst filled with fluid or air; vesicle.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Science definitions for bladder



A sac-shaped muscular organ that stores the urine secreted by the kidneys, found in all vertebrates except birds and the monotremes. In mammals, urine is carried from the kidneys to the bladder by the ureters and is later discharged from the body through the urethra.
An air bladder.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Culture definitions for bladder


A stretchable saclike structure in the body that holds fluids. The term is used most often to refer to the urinary bladder, which is part of the excretory system. Another kind of bladder is the gallbladder.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.