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A long, slender, flexible rod having a tuft or sponge at the end, used to remove foreign bodies from or apply medication to the larynx or esophagus.
[Alteration (probably influenced by probe) of earlier provang, perhaps from alteration of obsolete provet, surgical probe, from French éprouvette, from éprouver, to test, try out, from Old French esprover : es-, out (from Latin ex-, ex-) + prover, to prove; see prove.]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
(Surgery) surgery a long flexible rod, often with a small sponge at one end, for inserting into the oesophagus, as to apply medication
[C17: variant, apparently by association with probe, of provang, name coined by W. Rumsey (1584–1660), Welsh judge, its inventor; of unknown origin]
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014