- 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
Contemporary Examples of 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
Historical Examples of hiccup
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 for hiccup
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.