swab: Meaning and Definition of


Pronunciation: (swob), [key]
— n., v., swabbed, swab•bing.
  1. a large mop used on shipboard for cleaning decks, living quarters, etc.
  2. a bit of sponge, cloth, cotton, or the like, sometimes fixed to a stick, for cleansing the mouth of a sick person or for applying medicaments, drying areas, etc.
  3. the material collected with a swab as a specimen for microscopic study.
  4. a brush or wad of absorbent material for cleaning the bore of a firearm.
  5. a sailor; swabby.
  6. a clumsy fellow.
  1. to clean with or as if with a swab: to swab the decks.
  2. to take up or apply, as moisture, with or as if with a swab: to swab soapy water from the decks.
  3. to pass over a surface: to swab a mop over the decks.


Pronunciation: [key]
  1. Swabia.
  2. Swabian.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.
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