from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A test for cancer, especially of the female genital tract, in which a smear of exfoliated cells is specially stained and examined under a microscope for pathological changes. Also called Pap test.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A screening test to detect pre-cancerous and cancerous cells by taking a sample (‘smear’) of cells from the cervix.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a sample of secretions and superficial cells of the uterine cervix and uterus; examined with a microscope to detect any abnormal cells


After George Papanicolaou (1883-1962), Greek-born American pathologist and cytologist.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Georgios Papanikolaou, Greek American physician. (Wiktionary)


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