Definition of Pap test in English:

Pap test


North American
  • A test carried out on a sample of cells from the cervix to check for abnormalities that may be indicative of cervical cancer.

    • ‘Post-hysterectomy Pap tests may detect vaginal cancer, but the yield and predictive value are low, and the test was never designed for this purpose.’
    • ‘Although pelvic examinations can screen for reproductive problems or abnormalities, only a Pap test will detect early cervical cancer or precancers.’
    • ‘Women 65 to 70 years of age who have had at least three normal Pap test and no abnormal Pap tests in the last 10 years may decide, upon consultation with their healthcare provider, to stop cervical cancer screening.’
    • ‘Combined Pap test and HPV testing detected all cases of high-grade CIN, but our results did not reach statistical significance.’
    • ‘The Pap test, effective in detecting cervical cancer in its early stages, rarely detects ovarian cancer and usually only in its late stages.’


1960s: from a shortening of the name of the anatomist George Nicholas Papanicolaou, who devised the technique, + test.


Pap test

/ˈpap ˌtest/