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[pap] /pæp/

a test for cancer of the cervix, consisting of the staining of cervical cells taken in a cervical or vaginal smear (Pap smear or pap smear) for examination of exfoliated cells.
a vaginal Pap smear used to evaluate estrogen levels.
an examination of exfoliated cells in any body fluid, as sputum or urine, for cancer cells.
noun (med)
another name for cervical smear
a similar test for precancerous cells in other organs

1963, short for Papanicolaou (1947) in reference to George Nicholas Papanicolaou (1883-1962), Greek-born U.S. anatomist who developed the technique of examining secreted cells to test for cancer.

Pap test n.
A test for cancer, especially of the female genital tract, in which a smear of cells exfoliated or scraped from a mucosal surface is stained with Papanicolaou stain and examined under a microscope for pathological changes. Also called smear test.


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