Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “swab”

swab

noun [C] uk   /swɒb/ us    /swɑːb/
a small piece of soft material used for cleaning a cut or for taking a small amount of substance from a body, or the substance itself which can then be tested: The nurse cleaned the cut on my leg with a swab. "I'm just going to take a swab of your ear," said the doctor.Medical dressings, supports and devicesMedical examination

swab

verb [T] uk   /swɒb/ us    /swɑːb/ (-bb-)

swab verb [T] (WASH)

to wash a surface, especially the open, flat areas of a ship, with a wet cloth or mopCleaning generallyPersonal hygiene and appearance - general words

swab verb [T] (MEDICINE)

to clean a cut or take a small amount of substance from a body using a small piece of soft materialMedical examinationPreventing infection
(Definition of swab from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
What is the pronunciation of swab?
Browse related topics

You are looking at an entry to do with Cleaning generally, but you might be interested in these topics from the Clean, dirty and cleaning topic area:

Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

Definitions of “swab” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day

microbrewery

a small company that makes beer, usually using traditional methods, and often has a restaurant where its beer is served

Word of the Day

Blog

Read our blog about how the English language behaves.

Learn More

New Words

Find words and meanings that have just started to be used in English, and let us know what you think of them.

Learn More