An example of swab is to use a mop to clean the deck of a ship; swab the deck.
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.
Origin of swab
- Back-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)
From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition