swab


1swab

noun \ˈswäb\

: a small piece of soft material sometimes on the end of a small stick that is used for applying medicine, cleaning a wound, etc.

: a small amount of material taken with a swab as a sample from a person's body

Full Definition of SWAB

1
a :  mop; especially :  a yarn mop
b (1) :  a wad of absorbent material usually wound around one end of a small stick and used especially for applying medication or for removing material from an area
(2) :  a specimen taken with a swab
c :  a sponge or cloth patch attached to a long handle and used to clean the bore of a firearm
2
a :  a useless or contemptible person
b :  sailor, gob

Examples of SWAB

  1. Use a cotton swab dipped in alcohol to disinfect the area.
  2. The doctor took a throat swab and sent it to the lab.

Origin of SWAB

probably from obsolete Dutch swabbe; akin to Low German swabber mop
First Known Use: 1653

Rhymes with SWAB

2swab

transitive verb

: to wipe or clean (something, such as a wound) with a swab

swabbedswab·bing

Full Definition of SWAB

1
:  to clean with or as if with a swab
2
:  to apply medication to with a swab <swabbed the wound with iodine>

Examples of SWAB

  1. The nurse swabbed the cut with a disinfectant.

Origin of SWAB

back-formation from swabber
First Known Use: 1719

Browse

Next Word in the Dictionary: swabber
Previous Word in the Dictionary: SW
All Words Near: swab

Seen & Heard

What made you want to look up swab? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).