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Noun, Verb (usu participle), Verb (transitive)


Noun swab has 2 senses

Verb swab has 2 senses


swabv. t. [See Swabber, n.].
     To clean with a mop or swab; to wipe when very wet, as after washing; as, to swab the desk of a ship.  [1913 Webster]
swabn. [Written also swob.].
  •  A kind of mop for cleaning floors, the desks of vessels, etc., esp. one made of rope-yarns or threads.  [1913 Webster]
  •  A bit of sponge, cloth, or the like, fastened to a handle, for cleansing the mouth of a sick person, applying medicaments to deep-seated parts, etc.  [1913 Webster]
  •  An epaulet.  Marryat.  [1913 Webster]
  •  A cod, or pod, as of beans or pease.  Bailey.  [1913 Webster]
  •  A sponge, or other suitable substance, attached to a long rod or handle, for cleaning the bore of a firearm.  [1913 Webster]


swab, n. & v. (also swob)
1 a mop or other absorbent device for cleaning or mopping up.
2 a an absorbent pad used in surgery. b a specimen of a possibly morbid secretion taken with a swab for examination.
3 sl. a term of contempt for a person.
--v.tr. (swabbed, swabbing)
1 clean with a swab.
2 (foll. by up) absorb (moisture) with a swab.

back-form. f. swabber f. early mod.Du. zwabber f. a Gmc base = 'splash, sway'



air-dry, anhydrate, bake, baptize, bath, bathe, blot, brush, burn, cure, dehumidify, dehydrate, desiccate, douche, drain, dry, evaporate, exsiccate, fire, flush, flush out, gargle, holystone, insolate, irrigate, kiln, lather, launder, lave, mop, mop up, mummify, parch, rinse, rinse out, ritually immerse, rub, scorch, scour, scrub, scrub up, sear, shampoo, shower, shrivel, sluice, sluice out, smoke, soak up, soap, sponge, sun, sun-dry, syringe, toivel, torrefy, towel, tub, wash, wash out, wash up, weazen, wipe, wither, wizen




N cleanness, cleanliness, purity, cleaning, purification, defecation, purgation, lustration, detersion, abstersion, epuration, mundation, ablution, lavation, colature, disinfection, drainage, sewerage, lavatory, laundry, washhouse, washerwoman, laundress, dhobi, laundryman, washerman, scavenger, dustman, sweep, white wings brush, broom, besom, mop, rake, shovel, sieve, riddle, screen, filter, blotter, napkin, cloth, maukin, malkin, handkerchief, towel, sudary, doyley, doily, duster, sponge, mop, swab, cover, drugget, wash, lotion, detergent, cathartic, purgative, purifier, disinfectant, aperient, benzene, benzine benzol, benolin, bleaching powder, chloride of lime, dentifrice, deobstruent, laxative, clean, cleanly, pure, immaculate, spotless, stainless, taintless, trig, without a stain, unstained, unspotted, unsoiled, unsullied, untainted, uninfected, sweet, sweet as a nut, neat, spruce, tidy, trim, gimp, clean as a new penny, like a cat in pattens, cleaned, kempt, abstergent, cathartic, cleansing, purifying, neatly, clean as a whistle.

VB be clean, render clean, clean, cleanse, mundify, rinse, wring, flush, full, wipe, mop, sponge, scour, swab, scrub, brush up, wash, lave, launder, buck, absterge, deterge, decrassify, clear, purify, depurate, despumate, defecate, purge, expurgate, elutriate, lixiviate, edulcorate, clarify, refine, rack, filter, filtrate, drain, strain, disinfect, fumigate, ventilate, deodorize, whitewash, castrate, emasculate, sift, winnow, pick, weed, comb, rake, brush, sweep, rout out, clear out, sweep out, make a clean sweep of.


N bungler, blunderer, blunderhead, marplot, fumbler, lubber, duffer, dauber, stick, bad hand, poor hand, poor shot, butterfingers, no conjurer, flat, muff, slow coach, looby, lubber, swab, clod, yokel, awkward squad, blanc-bec, galoot, land lubber, fresh water sailor, fair weather sailor, horse marine, fish out of water, ass in lion's skin, jackdaw in peacock's feathers, quack, lord of misrule, sloven, slattern, trapes, amateur, novice, greenhorn (learner), il n'a pas invente' la poudre, he will never set the Thames on fire, acierta errando, aliquis in omnibus nullus in singulis.


VB be dry, render dry, dry, dry up, soak up, sponge, swab, wipe, drain, desiccate, dehydrate, exsiccate, parch, kiln dry, vacuum dry, blow dry, oven dry, hang out to dry, mummify, be fine, hold up.

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