or swob

[ swob ]
/ swɒb /


verb (used with object), swabbed, swab·bing.

Words nearby swab

Origin of swab

First recorded in 1645–55; back formation from swabber


un·swabbed, adjective

Definition for swab (2 of 2)

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Examples from the Web for swab

British Dictionary definitions for swab

/ (swɒb) /


  1. a small piece of cotton, gauze, etc, for use in applying medication, cleansing a wound, or obtaining a specimen of a secretion, etc
  2. the specimen so obtained
a mop for cleaning floors, decks, etc
a brush used to clean a firearm's bore
slang an uncouth or worthless fellow

verb swabs, swabbing or swabbed

(tr) to clean or medicate with or as if with a swab
(tr foll by up) to take up with a swab

Word Origin for swab

C16: probably from Middle Dutch swabbe mop; related to Norwegian svabba to splash, Dutch zwabberen to mop, German schwappen to slop over
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Medical definitions for swab

[ swŏb ]


A small piece of absorbent material attached to the end of a stick or wire and used for cleansing or applying medicine.
A specimen of mucus or other material removed with a swab.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.