1963, short for Papanicolaou (1947) in reference to George Nicholas Papanicolaou (1883-1962), Greek-born U.S. anatomist who developed the technique of examining secreted cells to test for cancer.
Pap smear (pāp)
A smear of vaginal or cervical cells obtained for a Pap test. Also called Papanicolaou smear.
A Pap test.
Pap test n.
A test for cancer, especially of the female genital tract, in which a smear of cells exfoliated or scraped from a mucosal surface is stained with Papanicolaou stain and examined under a microscope for pathological changes. Also called smear test.