hiccup

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Related to hiccoughed: hiccoughing

hiccup

or

hiccough,

involuntary spasmodic contraction of the diaphragm followed by a sharp intake of air, which is abruptly stopped by a sudden, involuntary closing of the glottis (opening between the vocal cords); the consequent blocking of air produces a repeated characteristic sharp sound, or hic. It is believed that hiccup is caused by stimulation of the nerve pathways or centers that control the muscles of respiration, particularly the diaphragm. In most instances hiccups are transient, although their course may sometimes be shortened by such measures as holding the breath, deep regular breathing, or rebreathing into a paper bag to increase the carbon dioxide content of the body. However, persistent hiccups may last for weeks, months, or even years. When hiccups are prolonged, therapy may include the administering of certain drugs, inhalation of carbon dioxide, and even interruption of the phrenic nerve either by injection of an anesthetic or by surgery.

hiccup

[′hik·əp]
(medicine)

hiccup

1. a spasm of the diaphragm producing a sudden breathing in followed by a closing of the glottis, resulting in a sharp sound
2. the state or condition of having such spasms
References in periodicals archive ?
The letters "ough" can be pronounced in 10 different ways, as in the following sentence: "A rough-coated, dough-faced, thoughtful ploughman swam through the lough at Scarborough; after falling into a slough, he coughed and hiccoughed.
p suBPoena hiccouGH hiccouGHEd PoPE sePAratist halfPENny shePHerd corPOrate contemPORary temPORAry aPPle stePPE bankruPTcy
The following sentence contains them all: "A rough-coated, dough-faced, thoughtful ploughman strode through the streets of Scarborough; after falling into a slough, he coughed and hiccoughed.