- 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 hiccupping
He swears amendment, is hiccupping at night; fights a match on the morrow, and gets beaten out of formation.The Amazing Marriage, Complete
Wait and you shall hear why I came, shrieked Vitkin, hiccupping and stumbling about the room.The Duel
A. I. Kuprin
And about this time, too, Mr. Walker himself came rolling home from the "Regent," hiccupping.Men's Wives
William Makepeace Thackeray
- 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 hiccupping
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.