• synonyms


See more synonyms for bladder on Thesaurus.com
  1. Anatomy, Zoology.
    1. a membranous sac or organ serving as a receptacle for a fluid or air.
    2. urinary bladder.
  2. Pathology. a vesicle, blister, cyst, etc., filled with fluid or air.
  3. Botany. an air-filled sac or float, as in certain seaweeds.
  4. something resembling a bladder, as the inflatable lining of a football or basketball.
  5. an air-filled sac, usually made to resemble a club, used for beatings in low comedy, vaudeville, or the like.
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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
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for bladder

sac, pocket, vesicle, blister, bag, inflate

Examples from the Web for bladder

Contemporary Examples of bladder

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


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

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

bladder in Medicine


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

bladder in Science


  1. 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.
  2. An air bladder.
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The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

bladder in Culture


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.

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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.