- 1Expel air from the lungs with a sudden sharp sound.More example sentences
- I sucked in a sharp breath, almost coughing on it.
- They felt their way forward towards the sound of a woman coughing.
- We also hear incidental sounds like children coughing and yelling, objects being moved, and so on.
- 1.1(Of an engine) make a sudden harsh noise, especially as a sign of malfunction.More example sentences
- The engine is coughing and spluttering and nobody knows quite how to keep the thing going.
- And from the deep bowels of the ship, an engine coughed, spluttered and finally came on with a roar.
- The boat's engine had coughed and wheezed for a good ten minutes before he had been able to coax it into working order.
- 1.2 [with object] Force (something, especially blood) out of the lungs or throat by coughing: he coughed up bloodstained fluidMore example sentences
- In any event, it was unlikely that the blood in the lungs resulted from the nosebleed or coughing blood from the lungs.
- But just when it looked as if she was about to realise the American dream, she coughed blood into a handkerchief and her doctor diagnosed tuberculosis.
- She screamed in pain again and started coughing blood.
- 1.3 [with object] (cough something out) Say something in a harsh, abrupt way: he coughed out his ordersMore example sentences
- He coughed the word out to show his disagreement.
- Bruce took the joke and coughed a forced laugh out.
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- 1An act or sound of coughing: she gave a discreet coughMore example sentences
- He was staring at the fireplace, his eyes wide, trying to figure out what was wrong with him when he was snapped out of his reverie by the sound of a gentle cough behind him.
- The sound of her gun dropping had cued him in, although Eric had tried earnestly to cover the sound with a cough.
- The sound of a loud cough startled the two, and they looked up to see Jay standing in his parking space near them.
- 1.1A condition of the respiratory organs causing coughing: he looked feverish and had a bad coughMore example sentences
- Not surprisingly, malnourishment and illness like fevers, coughs, malaria, scabies and diarrhoea are common.
- She had for weeks been suffering from a bad cough and chest infection.
- Most were children or the elderly suffering from dermatitis, coughs and respiratory problems, he said.
cough something up (or cough up)
- • informal Give something reluctantly, especially money or information that is due or required.More example sentences
- When your automated teller machines divide and arrange your money before coughing it up, they are all using partition theory.
- The authorities intervened and forbade them from leaving till the amount was coughed up.
- When they didn't have the ball, they strangled opponents into coughing it up.
Middle English: of imitative origin; related to Dutch kuchen 'to cough' and German keuchen 'to pant'.