swab(redirected from swabs)
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swabalso swob (swŏb)
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.
2. A sponge or patch of absorbent material used to clean the bore of a firearm or cannon.
3. A mop used for cleaning floors or decks.
4. Slang A sailor.
5. Slang A lout.
tr.v. swabbed, swab·bing, swabs also swobbed or swob·bing or swobs
1. To use a swab on.
2. To clean with a swab.
3. To collect a sample from (a person, for example) using a 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).]
1. (Medicine) med
a. a small piece of cotton, gauze, etc, for use in applying medication, cleansing a wound, or obtaining a specimen of a secretion, etc
b. the specimen so obtained
2. (Tools) a mop for cleaning floors, decks, etc
3. (Firearms, Gunnery, Ordnance & Artillery) a brush used to clean a firearm's bore
4. slang an uncouth or worthless fellow
vb, swabs, swabbing or swabbed
5. (Medicine) (tr) to clean or medicate with or as if with a swab
6. (foll by: up) to take up with a swab
[C16: probably from Middle Dutch swabbe mop; related to Norwegian svabba to splash, Dutch zwabberen to mop, German schwappen to slop over]
n., v. swabbed, swab•bing. n.
1. a large mop used on shipboard for cleaning decks, living quarters, etc.
2. a bit of cotton, sponge, or the like, often fixed to a stick, for applying medicaments, cleansing the mouth, etc.
3. material collected with a swab as a specimen.
4. a wad of absorbent material for cleaning the bore of a firearm.
5. Slang. a sailor; swabby.
6. Slang. a clumsy oaf.v.t.
7. to clean with or as if with a swab.
8. to take up or apply (moisture, etc.) with or as if with a swab.
[1645–55; < swabber]
swab- As in "mop the decks," it is a back-formation from swabber, "sailor who mops the decks," from a Germanic base meaning "splash."
See also related terms for splash.
Past participle: swabbed
Switch to new thesaurus
|Noun||1.||swab - implement consisting of a small piece of cotton that is used to apply medication or cleanse a wound or obtain a specimen of a secretion|
implement - instrumentation (a piece of equipment or tool) used to effect an end
|2.||swab - cleaning implement consisting of absorbent material fastened to a handle; for cleaning floors|
cleaning device, cleaning equipment, cleaning implement - any of a large class of implements used for cleaning
mop handle - the handle of a mop
sponge mop - a wet mop with a sponge as the absorbent
|Verb||1.||swab - wash with a swab or a mop; "swab the ship's decks"|
|2.||swab - apply (usually a liquid) to a surface; "dab the wall with paint"|
1. n (Med) (for cleaning wound, for specimen) → tampone m
2. vt (Naut) (also swab down) → redazzare
vt. limpiar, fregar.