verb (swab, b, ed)
- (medicine) 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.
- A sample taken with a swab (1).
- A piece of material used for cleaning or sampling other items like musical instruments or guns.
- A mop, especially on a ship.
- (slang) A sailor; see swabby.
- (transitive) To use a swab on something, or clean something with a swab
- swab the decks: mop the deck of a ship
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