from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- intransitive v. To expel air from the lungs suddenly and noisily, often to keep the respiratory passages free of irritating material.
- intransitive v. To make a noise similar to noisy expulsion of air from the lungs: The engine coughed and died.
- transitive v. To expel by coughing: coughed up phlegm.
- n. The act of coughing.
- n. An illness marked by frequent coughing.
- cough up Slang To hand over or relinquish (money or another possession), often reluctantly.
- cough up Slang To confess or disclose: When he saw that the police might arrest him, he coughed up the details of what he had seen.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- v. To push air from the lungs in a quick, noisy explosion.
- v. To make a noise like a cough
- n. A sudden, usually noisy expulsion of air from the lungs, often involuntary.
- n. A condition that causes one to cough; a tendency to cough.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- intransitive v. To expel air, or obstructing or irritating matter, from the lungs or air passages, in a noisy and violent manner.
- transitive v. To expel from the lungs or air passages by coughing; -- followed by up.
- transitive v. To bring to a specified state by coughing.
- n. A sudden, noisy, and violent expulsion of air from the chest, caused by irritation in the air passages, or by the reflex action of nervous or gastric disorder, etc.
- n. The more or less frequent repetition of coughing, constituting a symptom of disease.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- To make a more or less violent effort, accompanied with noise, to expel the air from the respiratory organs, and force out any matter that irritates the air-passages, or renders respiration difficult.
- To expel from the air-passages by a more or less violent effort with noise and usually with expectoration: followed by up: as, to cough up phlegm.
- n. An abrupt and more or less violent and noisy expiration, excited by some irritation of the respiratory organs.
- To lay up for; store as in a coffer.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- v. exhale abruptly, as when one has a chest cold or congestion
- n. a sudden noisy expulsion of air from the lungs that clears the air passages; a common symptom of upper respiratory infection or bronchitis or pneumonia or tuberculosis
Middle English coughen, ultimately of imitative origin.(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Proto-Germanic *kuh- (unattested in Old English, but probably present as *cohhian; compare cohhetan ("shout")). Cognate with Dutch kuchen ("cough"), German keuchen ("pant"), Albanian hukat ("pant, gasp"). (Wiktionary)