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a specimen for microscopic study, the material being spread thinly and unevenly across the slide with a swab or loop, or with the edge of another slide.
Smears from opaque thick liquids or semisolids, such as stool, can be made using a swab to sample and smear the material. From Mahon and Manuselis, 1995.
Pap smear (Papanicolaou smear) see papanicolaou test.
Miller-Keane Encyclopedia and Dictionary of Medicine, Nursing, and Allied Health, Seventh Edition. © 2003 by Saunders, an imprint of Elsevier, Inc. All rights reserved.


A thin specimen for examination; it is usually prepared by spreading material uniformly onto a glass slide, fixing it, and staining it before examination.
Farlex Partner Medical Dictionary © Farlex 2012


Biology A sample, as of blood or bacterial cells, spread on a slide for microscopic examination or on the surface of a culture medium.
The American Heritage® Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2007, 2004 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.


Tuberculosis A specimen gobbed on a glass slide, stained, washed in an acid solution, and examined by LM to detect AFB in a specimen. See Acid-fast bacilli, Wet mount.
McGraw-Hill Concise Dictionary of Modern Medicine. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.


A thin specimen for microscopic examination; usually prepared by spreading liquid or semisolid material uniformly onto a glass slide, fixing it, and staining it before examination.
Medical Dictionary for the Health Professions and Nursing © Farlex 2012


(smer) [Old English. smerian, to anoint]
1. In bacteriology, material spread on a surface, as a microscopic slide or a culture medium.
2. Material obtained from infected matter spread over solid culture media.
3. Cellular material obtained from a body structure by swabbing, gently scraping, or scratching.
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blood smear

A drop of (anticoagulated) whole blood spread thinly on a glass microscope slide so that blood cell types can be examined, counted, and characterized. Synonym: peripheral blood smear

Procedure: The slide must be grease-free. It is cleaned with alcohol, rinsed in warm water, and wiped clean with a lint-free towel or lens paper.A small drop of blood is placed on the slide; the end of another slide (spreader slide) is placed against the first slide at a 45° angle and pulled back against the drop of blood so that the drop spreads between the point of contact of the two slides. Then the spreader slide is pushed forward against the first slide; the blood will form an even, thin smear. The slide is dried by waving it in the air; it should not be heated. The blood smear is covered with Wright's stain and allowed to stand 2 min. An equal amount of distilled water or buffer solution is added and mixed uniformly. It is allowed to stand 5 min. The stain is gently washed off and the slide is allowed to dry.

See: illustrationillustration

buccal smear

A sample of cells taken from the mucosa lining the cheek for chromosomal or other studies.

Pap smear

Papanicolaou test.

peripheral blood smear

Synonym: blood smear
Medical Dictionary, © 2009 Farlex and Partners


A thin film of tissue, cells, blood or other material spread on a transparent slide for microscopic examination.
Collins Dictionary of Medicine © Robert M. Youngson 2004, 2005


A specimen prepared for microscopic study by spreading the material across a slide and treating it with a specific stain.
Mentioned in: Leprosy
Gale Encyclopedia of Medicine. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


Thin specimen for examination; usually prepared by spreading material uniformly onto a glass slide, fixing it, and staining it before examination.
Medical Dictionary for the Dental Professions © Farlex 2012
References in periodicals archive ?
The panel determined that Mrs Boyle's actions put patients at risk through the stress they could have endured in having to repeat smear tests and the delay in smear results.
To evaluate the use of Pap smear as a screening method for detecting precancerous lesions using Bethesda system 2016
"I'm trained to make the smear test go smoothly and make women feel as comfortable as possible at the appointment.
A NHS Warwickshire North CCG, said: "We are urging all women aged 25-64 not to miss out on a vital smear test as it could save their life."
She said: "I do understand when they say they are mortified at the thought of having a smear test or are too embarrassed or too frightened.
"Women have been facing months of delays - in the first instance to get an appointment for smear and then expect to wait another 20 weeks to get the results.
STOP making excuses, book, and go for your bloody smear! A smear tests last 5 minutes the impact of cervical cancer lasts a life time!" Michelle, who is married to former The Only Way Is Essex star Mark Wright, was applauded by fans for her blog.
Although Pap smear quality is not determined solely by the presence of an endocervical component, we focused our QI project on Pap smear adequacy, as many public health facilities in SA consistently fall below the DoH benchmark for this metric.
But, astonishingly, she got a letter through the post less than a week later saying the laboratory had destroyed her test sample, due to the fact she was not due for a routine smear, and to go back to her GP in 18 months' time.
Conclusion: DIF on Tzanck smear and plucked hair is a simple, painless and non-invasive test in diagnosing pemphigus vulgaris.
The images were taken from the 2nd, 7th, and 11th millimeter distances to the apices for the smear evaluations of the apical, middle, and coronal one-thirds, respectively (Figure 1).
Definitive diagnosis can be made from blood smear in some conditions.