[ hik-uhp, -uhp ]
/ 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), hic·cuped or hic·cupped, hic·cup·ing or hic·cup·ping.
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.
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Origin of hiccup
1570–80; alteration of hocket, hickock,
equivalent to hic
; akin to Low German hick
hiccup; see hocket
Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2022
How to use hiccup in a sentence
British Dictionary definitions for hiccup
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
verb -cups, -cuping, -cuped, -cups, -cupping, -cupped, -coughs, -coughing or -coughed
(intr) to make a hiccup or hiccups
(tr) to utter with a hiccup or hiccups
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
Medical definitions for hiccup
A spasm of the diaphragm causing sudden inhalation interrupted by spasmodic closure of the glottis, producing a characteristic noise.
Other words from hiccuphic′cup null v.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.