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or hic-cough

[hik-uhp, -uh p] /ˈhɪk ʌp, -əp/
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.
verb (used without object), hiccuped or hiccupped, hiccuping or hiccupping.
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
1570-80; alteration of hocket, hickock, equivalent to hic + -ock; akin to Low German hick hiccup; see hocket Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2016.
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Examples from the Web for hiccupping
Historical Examples
  • He swears amendment, is hiccupping at night; fights a match on the morrow, and gets beaten out of formation.

  • 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
British Dictionary definitions for hiccupping


a spasm of the diaphragm producing a sudden breathing in followed by a closing of the glottis, resulting in a sharp sound Technical name singultus
the state or condition of having such spasms
(informal) a minor difficulty or problem
verb -cups, -cuping, -cuped, -cups, -cupping, -cupped, -coughs, -coughing, -coughed
(intransitive) to make a hiccup or hiccups
(transitive) to utter with a hiccup or hiccups
Word Origin
C16: of imitative origin
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for hiccupping



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.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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hiccupping in Medicine

hiccup hic·cup or hic·cough (hĭk'əp)
A spasm of the diaphragm causing sudden inhalation interrupted by spasmodic closure of the glottis, producing a characteristic noise.

hic'cup or hic'cough v.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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Slang definitions & phrases for hiccupping



A brief interruption; spasmodic stoppage: The violence in Moscow is another hiccup in Russia's drive for democracy (1980s+)

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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