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1

swab

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noun \ˈswäb\

Simple Definition of swab

  • : 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. 1a :  mop; especially :  a yarn mopb (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 swabc :  a sponge or cloth patch attached to a long handle and used to clean the bore of a firearm

  2. 2a :  a useless or contemptible personb :  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


2

swab

transitive verb

Simple Definition of swab

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

Full Definition of swab

swabbedswab·bing

  1. 1 :  to clean with or as if with a swab

  2. 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




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