from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. A small piece of absorbent material attached to the end of a stick or wire and used for cleansing or applying medicine.
- n. A specimen of mucus or other material removed with a swab.
- n. A sponge or patch of absorbent material used to clean the bore of a firearm or cannon.
- n. A mop used for cleaning floors or decks.
- n. Slang A sailor.
- n. Slang A lout.
- transitive v. To use a swab on.
- transitive v. To clean with a swab.
- transitive v. To take a specimen from (a person) using a swab.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. a small piece of soft, absorbent material, such as gauze, used to clean wounds, apply medicine, or take samples of body fluids. Often attached to a stick or wire to aid access.
- n. A sample taken with a swab (1).
- n. A piece of material used for cleaning or sampling other items like musical instruments or guns.
- n. A mop, especially on a ship.
- n. A sailor; see swabby.
- v. To use a swab on something, or clean something with a swab
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- transitive v. To clean with a mop or swab; to wipe when very wet, as after washing.
- n. A kind of mop for cleaning floors, the desks of vessels, etc., esp. one made of rope-yarns or threads.
- n. A bit of sponge, cloth, or the like, fastened to a handle, for cleansing the mouth of a sick person, applying medicaments to deep-seated parts, etc.
- n. An epaulet.
- n. A cod, or pod, as of beans or pease.
- n. A sponge, or other suitable substance, attached to a long rod or handle, for cleaning the bore of a firearm.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- To clean with water and a swab, especially the decks of ships.
- n. A utensil for cleaning.
- n. The epaulet of a naval officer.
- n. A bit of sponge, cloth, or the like fastened to a handle, for cleansing the mouth of the sick, or for giving them nourishment. Compare probang.
- n. In founding, a small tapering tuft of hemp, charged with water, for touching up the edges of molds.
- n. An awkward, clumsy fellow.
- Same as swap.
- n. Same as swad.
- n. An abbreviation of Swabia or Swabian.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. 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
- v. apply (usually a liquid) to a surface
- v. wash with a swab or a mop
- n. cleaning implement consisting of absorbent material fastened to a handle; for cleaning floors
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, Fourth Edition)