- a quick, involuntary inhalation that follows a spasm of the diaphragm and is suddenly checked by closure of the glottis, producing a short, relatively sharp sound.
- Usually hiccups. the condition of having such spasms: She got the hiccups just as she began to speak.
- Informal. a minor difficulty, interruption, setback, etc.: a hiccup in the stock market.
- to make the sound of a hiccup: The motor hiccuped as it started.
- to have the hiccups.
- Informal. to experience a temporary decline, setback, interruption, etc.: There was general alarm when the economy hiccuped.
Origin of hiccup
Examples from the Web for hiccup
At the time, I called it a hiccup rather than a heart attack.How Obamacare Helped Crash the Economy
June 25, 2014
But the challenge of acting in a major franchise was just a hiccup when compared to the challenge of acting in front of the press.Shailene Woodley Is Hollywood’s It Girl Next Door
June 5, 2014
Not that Kiev and U.S. counter-propaganda goes through without a hiccup.On the Front Lines in Ukraine’s Info War
April 24, 2014
But I am guessing this is going to be a hiccup in his career.Dem’s the Breaks: GOP Investigation Gives the Left Another Reason to Point Fingers
February 20, 2014
He was always straight-ahead and anytime there was a hiccup or anything, he was really good at dealing with it.Willem Dafoe Cuts Like a Blade
December 8, 2013
Then the South Foreland lights begin to hiccup at us in a way that bodes no good.The Uncommercial Traveller
He acknowledged Don's look with a broad smile that vanished in a hiccup.And Then the Town Took Off
"Well, I'd like to hear it again," said the drunken one (hiccup).Handy Andy, Volume 2 (of 2)
"Cool and deliciously impudent that same, (hiccup,)" quoth the skipper.Tom Cringle's Log
Laughter took him like a hiccup: laughter not good to hear: but he left off as quickly.Where the Pavement Ends
- a spasm of the diaphragm producing a sudden breathing in followed by a closing of the glottis, resulting in a sharp soundTechnical name: singultus
- the state or condition of having such spasms
- informal a minor difficulty or problem
- (intr) to make a hiccup or hiccups
- (tr) to utter with a hiccup or hiccups
Word Origin and History for hiccup
1570s, hickop, earlier hicket, hyckock, "a word meant to imitate the sound produced by the convulsion of the diaphragm" [Abram Smythe Farmer, "Folk-Etymology," London, 1882]. Cf. French hoquet, Danish hikke, etc. Modern spelling first recorded 1788; An Old English word for it was ælfsogoða, so called because hiccups were thought to be caused by elves.
1580s; see hiccup (n.).
- A spasm of the diaphragm causing sudden inhalation interrupted by spasmodic closure of the glottis, producing a characteristic noise.