hiccup

or hic-cough

[hik-uhp, -uh p]

noun

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

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. 2019

Examples from the Web for hiccups

Contemporary Examples of hiccups

Historical Examples of hiccups

  • She covered her face with her hands, and her sobs soon passed to hiccups and hysteria.

    Boyhood

    Leo Tolstoy

  • The grog's not quite out of my head yet; and I find I've got the hiccups.

    Hide and Seek

    Wilkie Collins

  • I got there, however, and waited for the hiccups to subside.

    Back to Julie

    Richard Wilson

  • To begin with, he developed a violent attack of hiccups which could not be restrained.

    Furze the Cruel

    John Trevena

  • Then Rom suddenly, horribly, uncontrollably, was seized with hiccups.

    Marriage

    H. G. Wells



British Dictionary definitions for hiccups

hiccup

hiccough

noun

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

Word Origin and History for hiccups
n.

a bout of hiccupping, by 1723; see hiccup (n.). This often also was called hiccup or the hiccup.

hiccup

v.

1580s; see hiccup (n.).

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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for hiccups

hiccup

n.

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