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

     

    swab

     noun
    noun
    BrE BrE//swɒb//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//swɑːb//
     
    Operations, Medical examinations
     
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  1. 1a piece of soft material used by a doctor, nurse, etc. for cleaning wounds or taking a sample from somebody’s body for testing See related entries: Operations
  2. 2an act of taking a sample from somebody’s body, with a swab to take a throat swab See related entries: Medical examinations
  3. Wordfinderbiopsy, diagnose, examine, sample, scan, swab, symptom, test, ultrasound, X-ray 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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