- The definition of a swab is a yarn mop, a piece of material used for cleaning or removing matter from the body.
- An example of a swab is a mop used for cleaning a kitchen floor.
- An example of a swab is a piece of cotton used for removing ear wax.
- Swab means to clean.
An example of swab is to use a mop to clean the deck of a ship; swab the deck.
- a yarn mop, usually used wet, for cleaning decks, floors, etc.
- a small piece of cotton, cloth, or sponge, often fixed to a small stick, used to clean a wound, the ears, etc. or to apply medicine to wounds
- matter collected in this way
- a brush, wad of cloth, etc. on a long handle, for cleaning the barrel of a gun
- Slang a clumsy, loutish person
- Slangalso, and for b usually, swab′bie or swab′by
- a sailor
- an enlisted person in the U.S. Navy
Origin of swabcontr. from swabber
transitive verbswabbed, swab′bing
- a. A small piece of absorbent material attached to the end of a stick or wire and used for cleansing a surface, applying medicine, or collecting a sample of a substance.b. A sample collected with a swab.
- A sponge or patch of absorbent material used to clean the bore of a firearm or cannon.
- A mop used for cleaning floors or decks.
- Slang A sailor.
- Slang A lout.
transitive verbswabbed, swab·bing, swabs, also swobbed swob·bing swobs
- To use a swab on.
- To clean with a swab.
- To collect a sample from (a person, for example) using a swab.
Origin of swabBack-formation from swabber mop for a ship's deck ( from obsolete Dutch zwabber ) ( from zwabben to mop ) or from obsolete Dutch swabbe mop ( from Middle Dutch)
- (medicine) a small piece of soft, absorbent material, such as gauze, used to clean wounds, apply medicine, or take samples of body fluids. Often attached to a stick or wire to aid access.
- A sample taken with a swab (1).
- A piece of material used for cleaning or sampling other items like musical instruments or guns.
- A mop, especially on a ship.
- (slang) A sailor; a swabby.
(third-person singular simple present swabs, present participle swabbing, simple past and past participle swabbed)
- To use a swab on something, or clean something with a swab.
- swab the deck of a ship