1

swab

noun \ ˈswäb \

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 in a Sentence

  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.

Recent Examples of swab from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'swab.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Origin and Etymology of swab

probably from obsolete Dutch swabbe; akin to Low German swabber mop


2

swab

verb

Definition of swab

swabbed; swabbing
transitive verb
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 in a Sentence

  1. The nurse swabbed the cut with a disinfectant.

Recent Examples of swab from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'swab.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Origin and Etymology of swab

back-formation from swabber



SWAB Defined for English Language Learners

swab

noun

Definition of swab for English Language Learners

  • : 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


swab

verb

Definition of swab for English Language Learners

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


SWAB Defined for Kids

1

swab

noun \ ˈswäb \

Definition of swab for Students

1 :a yarn mop especially as used on a ship
2 :a wad of absorbent material usually wound around the end of a small stick and used for applying or removing material (as medicine or makeup)

2

swab

verb

Definition of swab for Students

swabbed; swabbing
1 :to clean with or as if with a mop
  • A boy swabbed the ship's deck.
2 :to apply medication to with a wad of absorbent material
  • A nurse swabbed the wound with iodine.

Medical Dictionary

1

swab

noun \ ˈswäb \

medical Definition of swab

1 :a wad of absorbent material usually wound around one end of a small stick and used for applying medication or for removing material from an area
2 :a specimen taken with a swab
  • a throat swab

2

swab

transitive verb

medical Definition of swab

swabbed; swabbing
:to apply medication to with a swab
  • swabbed the wound with iodine


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