English

Definition of swab verb from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary

     

    swab

     verb
    verb
    BrE BrE//swɒb//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//swɑːb//
     
    Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they swab
    BrE BrE//swɒb//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//swɑːb//
     
    he / she / it swabs
    BrE BrE//swɒbz//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//swɑːbz//
     
    past simple swabbed
    BrE BrE//swɒbd//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//swɑːbd//
     
    past participle swabbed
    BrE BrE//swɒbd//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//swɑːbd//
     
    -ing form swabbing
    BrE BrE//ˈswɒbɪŋ//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈswɑːbɪŋ//
     
    Operations
     
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  1. 1swab something to clean or remove liquid from a wound, etc., using a swab See related entries: Operations
  2. 2swab something (down) to clean or wash a floor, surface, etc. using water and a cloth, etc. I swabbed down the table using disinfectant. Swab each nail free of grease before applying nail polish.
  3. Word Origin mid 17th cent. (in the sense ‘mop for cleaning the decks’): back-formation from swabber ‘sailor detailed to swab decks’, from early modern Dutch zwabber, from a Germanic base meaning ‘splash’ or ‘sway’.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: swab

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