hiccup

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Related to hiccuping: 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 ?
Osborne, from Iowa, began hiccuping in 1922 while weighing a pig.
Osborne eventually stopped hiccuping in 1990, although no one could work out why.
When Lisa Doherty began hiccuping in January 2008 while pregnant with her daughter Emily, she visited the doctors and was told hiccups were common in pregnant women, and dismissed it from her mind.
HAPPY Shane Shafer can finally breathe a sigh of relief - after hiccuping non-stop for two years.
The new explanation for the age-old riddle of hiccuping links humans and amphibians such as tadpoles in an evolutionary chain stretching back hundreds of millions of years.