- 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 hiccupped
Mathematician Benoit Mandelbrot is namedropped on page 49 in a hiccupped discussion of chaos theory.Gloria Vanderbilt Gets Kinky
June 23, 2009
Korsakov giggled, belched, hiccupped and finished his drink.Shock Absorber
E.G. von Wald
"Fleeting and singing, and singing and fleeting," hiccupped Bhairon.
The drunken Man staggered to his feet, and hiccupped vehemently.
"No, we can't stand that," hiccupped Smith, scarcely able to keep his legs.Jack Sheppard, Vol. I (of III)
W. Harrison Ainsworth
For answer Tom Rochford pressed his hand to his breastbone and hiccupped.Ulysses
- 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 hiccupped
1580s; see hiccup (n.).
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.
- A spasm of the diaphragm causing sudden inhalation interrupted by spasmodic closure of the glottis, producing a characteristic noise.