hiccup

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Related to hiccoughing: hiccuping

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 ?
Talking of chips - which a hiccoughing Mr Key had with gammon, while Yours Truly munched a supremely cooked juicy steak - ours were not rickety sticks but great whopping doorstoppers fresh from the pan).
Furber's battle with his irrepressibly effulgent word-making gets its pithy formulation in religious terms a little later in his section: "He tried to rally his thoughts and form them in unassailable squares, but not a line would hold, they broke ahead of any shooting, and the Logos wandered disloyally off, alone, rudely hiccoughing and chewing on pieces of raw potato, looking surly and dangerous" (85).
Charles Osbourne from Anthon, Iowa, USA began hiccoughing in 1922 while he was trying to weigh a pig for slaughter.