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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 ?
If the malfunction were caused by insufficient draft or a defect in the gas burner, the particles tend to be larger, hut less smeary, than furnace soot.
(Maybe it could even use newsprint and smeary ink, just to comfort those folks who fear change.)
A general criticism from gradualist quarters is that over time incremental changes in the species' genotype inevitably undermine any and all criteria of unity, unraveling the putative integrity of the species-as-individual and revealing in its place what Richard Dawkins has described as "a smeary continuum of change" that renders invisible the boundary between one species and the next.(27) We will suppose that there is a detectable discontinuity between where one species leaves off and another begins.(28) Yet even supposing the neat speciation break between species, and continuous gene flow within a given population on either side of those speciation events even so, gene flow does not deliver the ontological closure that characterizes species.
She heard a truck coming, rattling like it was going to fly apart, and she spun around gracefully with the broom racket and saw Ed Kunky's black whiskers in the smeary windshield and beside him his son Whitey, good-looking Whitey, a class ahead of her.
Meanwhile, a survey by The New York Times found that country-of-origin is poorly marked on some private label frozen vegetables - the notices in hard-to-find places, or in smeary ink, or both.
"It's gummy and smeary, yet as abrasive to carbide as a honing stone.
In a moment when big data drives so much of our experience of time, these lovely, smeary objects importantly spoke to a virtuality derived from a very different reality.
Blunt does her best as Rachel, but the role is essentially self-pitying: embarrassing herself on the train, rambling incoherently at an AA meeting, looking like a wreck with red nose and smeary mascara, basically waiting for someone to offer absolution by saying: "You did nothing wrong".
Her eyes are red and smeary while her greasy hair appears to have been styled with a pork chop.