[hik-uhp, -uhp]
a quick, involuntary inhalation that follows a spasm of the diaphragm and is suddenly checked by closure of the glottis, producing a short, relatively sharp sound.
Usually, hiccups. the condition of having such spasms: She got the hiccups just as she began to speak.
Informal. a minor difficulty, interruption, setback, etc.: a hiccup in the stock market.
verb (used without object), hiccuped or hiccupped, hiccuping or hiccupping.
to make the sound of a hiccup: The motor hiccuped as it started.
to have the hiccups.
Informal. to experience a temporary decline, setback, interruption, etc.: There was general alarm when the economy hiccuped.
Also, hic-cough [hik-uhp, -uhp] .

1570–80; alteration of hocket, hickock, equivalent to hic + -ock; akin to Low German hick hiccup; see hocket

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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
hiccup or hiccough (ˈhɪkʌp)
1.  Technical name: singultus 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
3.  informal a minor difficulty or problem
vb , -cups, -cuping, -cuped, -cups, -cupping, -cupped;, -coughs, -coughing, -coughed
4.  (intr) to make a hiccup or hiccups
5.  (tr) to utter with a hiccup or hiccups
[C16: of imitative origin]
hiccough or hiccough
[C16: of imitative origin]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

1580, hickop, earlier hicket, hyckock, considered imitative of the sound of hiccupping (cf. Fr. hoquet, Dan. hikke, etc.); modern spelling first recorded 1788; hiccough (1626) is by mistaken association with cough. Replaced O.E. ælfsogoða, so called because hiccups were thought to be caused
by elves.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

hiccup hic·cup or hic·cough (hĭk'əp)
A spasm of the diaphragm causing sudden inhalation interrupted by spasmodic closure of the glottis, producing a characteristic noise.

hic'cup or hic'cough v.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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Example sentences
Hiccough, or hiccup, is an intermittent sudden spasm of the diaphragm recurring at brief intervals.
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