- 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 hiccups
Actually, Damascus has been a prominent third party in more recent Londongrad hiccups in the media.Britain’s KGB Sugar Daddy
March 7, 2014
And luckily for Jackson, this upset was the last in a very long line of hiccups that could have spoiled the film.The Curse of ‘The Hobbit’: Dying Animal, Fires, Actors Quitting, and More Movie Upsets
December 12, 2012
“I get hiccups all the time these days,” she says in one 2006 post, written while pregnant with her husband half a world away.Robert Bales, the Army Staff Sgt. Accused of Killing 16 Afghans
March 18, 2012
She covered her face with her hands, and her sobs soon passed to hiccups and hysteria.Boyhood
The grog's not quite out of my head yet; and I find I've got the hiccups.Hide and Seek
I got there, however, and waited for the hiccups to subside.Back to Julie
To begin with, he developed a violent attack of hiccups which could not be restrained.Furze the Cruel
Then Rom suddenly, horribly, uncontrollably, was seized with hiccups.Marriage
H. G. Wells
- 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 hiccups
a bout of hiccupping, by 1723; see hiccup (n.). This often also was called hiccup or the hiccup.
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.