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.
Origin of hiccup
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. 2019
Related Words for hiccuppingemit
Examples from the Web for hiccupping
Historical Examples of hiccupping
He swears amendment, is hiccupping at night; fights a match on the morrow, and gets beaten out of formation.
Wait and you shall hear why I came, shrieked Vitkin, hiccupping and stumbling about the room.
And about this time, too, Mr. Walker himself came rolling home from the "Regent," hiccupping.
British Dictionary definitions for hiccupping
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
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Word Origin and History for hiccupping
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.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Related formshic′cup null v.
A spasm of the diaphragm causing sudden inhalation interrupted by spasmodic closure of the glottis, producing a characteristic noise.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
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