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hiccup

or hic-cough

[hik-uhp, -uh p]
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noun
  1. 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.
  2. Usually hiccups. the condition of having such spasms: She got the hiccups just as she began to speak.
  3. Informal. a minor difficulty, interruption, setback, etc.: a hiccup in the stock market.
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verb (used without object), hic·cuped or hic·cupped, hic·cup·ing or hic·cup·ping.
  1. to make the sound of a hiccup: The motor hiccuped as it started.
  2. to have the hiccups.
  3. Informal. to experience a temporary decline, setback, interruption, etc.: There was general alarm when the economy hiccuped.
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Origin of hiccup

1570–80; alteration of hocket, hickock, equivalent to hic + -ock; akin to Low German hick hiccup; see hocket
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for hiccup

singultus, hiccough

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British Dictionary definitions for hiccup

hiccup

hiccough

noun
  1. a spasm of the diaphragm producing a sudden breathing in followed by a closing of the glottis, resulting in a sharp soundTechnical name: singultus
  2. the state or condition of having such spasms
  3. informal a minor difficulty or problem
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verb -cups, -cuping, -cuped, -cups, -cupping, -cupped, -coughs, -coughing or -coughed
  1. (intr) to make a hiccup or hiccups
  2. (tr) to utter with a hiccup or hiccups
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Word Origin for hiccup

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

Word Origin and History for 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.

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v.

1580s; see hiccup (n.).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

hiccup in Medicine

hiccup

n.
  1. A spasm of the diaphragm causing sudden inhalation interrupted by spasmodic closure of the glottis, producing a characteristic noise.
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Related formshiccup null v.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.