- 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 hiccuping
Cocks crowing and the long, howling, hiccuping, melancholy bray of an ass.Sea and Sardinia
D. H. Lawrence
What the deuce does the (hiccup) cook mean by not (hiccuping) things as he ought?Mr. Sponge's Sporting Tour
R. S. Surtees
He was parched with thirst; and the hiccuping fit which had seized him in the company of his new friend had not yet subsided.Hide and Seek
And with an utmost effort, he broke into a fine imitation of a hiccuping laugh.Egholm and his God
He tossed the cans into his sack in a perfectly reckless manner, until Broadway was sick and hiccuping with fear.The Skipper and the Skipped
- 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 hiccuping
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.