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also 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).]
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.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.swabbing - cleaning with a mopswabbing - cleaning with a mop; "he gave it a good mopping"
scrubbing, scouring, scrub - the act of cleaning a surface by rubbing it with a brush and soap and water
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.
References in classic literature ?
Harvey looked up from his swabbing at the bottom of another dory just above his head.
While the glowing enthusiast was swabbing the perspiration from his face, I said:
So the king went all through the crowd with his hat swabbing his eyes, and blessing the people and praising them and thanking them for being so good to the poor pirates away off there; and every little while the prettiest kind of girls, with the tears running down their cheeks, would up and ask him would he let them kiss him for to remember him by; and he always done it; and some of them he hugged and kissed as many as five or six times -- and he was invited to stay a week; and everybody wanted him to live in their houses, and said they'd think it was an honor; but he said as this was the last day of the camp-meeting he couldn't do no good, and besides he was in a sweat to get to the Indian Ocean right off and go to work on the pirates.
He was a "squeedgie" man; his job was to go about all day with a long-handled mop, swabbing up the floor.
As of the writing of this update, when swabbing, the data confirms the well artificially flows at a rate of approximately 90-110 barrels of fluid per day in the zone between 16,415 and 16,500 ft.
The ongoing project 'Impact of gut microbiota on severity of HFMD in children' provided us a unique opportunity to evaluate whether the rectal swabbing from child patients can be an alternative for microbiome study using 16S rRNA gene sequencing technology.
have shown that oral swabbing canbe used to detect virus and shedding in guinea pigs at isolated intervals after infection (9).
The 9-piece kit (retail $5.99) contains several sizes and lengths, all useful for a variety of swabbing tasks.
But last night campaigners criticised police use of swabbing as "excessive" for cases of petty crime, such as stealing sweets and pulling another child's hair, and warned that forces risked demonising innocent children.