swab(redirected from swabs)
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swab (something) out of (something)
To wipe dirt or other contaminants out of something with a something absorbent or cleansing. It always makes me gag to see him swabbing wax out of his ears like that. Make sure you carefully swab all the dirt out of the wound before you apply the bandage.
To clean or wash some surface with an absorbent cleaning implement. A noun or pronoun can be used between "swab" and "down." He has been relegated to swabbing down the deck for the foreseeable future as punishment for his actions. I swabbed her brow down with a cool, wet sponge.
1. To use something absorbent to clean the inside of something. A noun or pronoun can be used between "swab" and "out." Did you hear me? I said go clean your room! Do you need to swab your ears out? The doctor carefully swabbed out the wound and then rinsed it with a saline solution.
2. To use something absorbent to clean dirt or other contaminants out of something. A noun or pronoun can be used between "swab" and "out." It always makes me gag to see him swabbing wax out of his ears like that. Make sure you carefully swab out all the dirt before you apply the bandage.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
swab something down
to wash or scrub something, such as the deck of a ship. The sailors were told to swab the deck down each day. Swab down the deck!
swab something out
to wash or wipe something out in order to make it clean. The doctor swabbed my ear out carefully. The doctor swabbed out my ear carefully.
swab something out of somethingand swab something Out
to wipe or mop something out of something. The doctor swabbed the wax out of my ear. I swabbed out the last of the mud on the floor.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
To clean a surface with a swab: The sailor swabbed down the deck. If the table is dirty, swab it down with lots of soap.
To clean the inside of something with a swab: I used this cloth to swab out the rifles. The doctor swabbed my ear out.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Phrasal Verbs. Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.