Quantcast
Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary
1

cough

play
verb \ˈkȯf\

Simple Definition of cough

  • : to force air through your throat with a short, loud noise often because you are sick

  • : to make a noise like that of coughing

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of cough

  1. intransitive verb
  2. 1 :  to expel air from the lungs suddenly with an explosive noise

  3. 2 :  to make a noise like that of coughing

  4. transitive verb
  5. :  to expel by coughing —often used with up <cough up mucus>

Examples of cough in a sentence

  1. She was coughing and sneezing all day.

  2. The dust made him cough.

  3. The engine coughed and sputtered and then stopped.



Origin and Etymology of cough

Middle English, from Old English *cohhian; akin to Middle High German kūchen to breathe heavily


First Known Use: 14th century


2

cough

noun

Simple Definition of cough

  • : a physical condition or illness that causes someone to cough

  • : an act of coughing or the sound made when someone coughs

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of cough

  1. 1 :  a condition marked by repeated or frequent coughing

  2. 2 :  an act or sound of coughing

Examples of cough in a sentence

  1. He has a cough and a cold.

  2. They both have bad coughs.

  3. I heard a cough from the back of the church.



14th Century

First Known Use of cough

14th century

Rhymes with cough



COUGH Defined for Kids

1

cough

play
verb \ˈkȯf\

Definition of cough for Students

coughed

coughing

  1. 1 :  to force air from the lungs suddenly with a sharp short noise or series of noises

  2. 2 :  to get rid of by coughing <cough up mucus>




2

cough

play
noun

Definition of cough for Students

  1. 1 :  a condition in which there is severe or frequent coughing <She has a bad cough.>

  2. 2 :  an act or sound of coughing <a dry cough>




Medical Dictionary

1

cough

play
verb \ˈkȯf\

Medical Definition of cough

  1. :  to expel air from the lungs suddenly with a sharp, short noise usually in a series of efforts

  2. transitive verb

  3. :  to expel by coughing—often used with up <cough up mucus>




2

cough

noun

Medical Definition of cough

  1. 1:  a condition marked by repeated, frequent coughing <he has a bad cough>

  2. 2:  a sudden, sharp-sounding expulsion of air from the lungs acting as a protective mechanism to clear the air passages or as a symptom of pulmonary disturbance




Learn More about cough


Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up cough? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

the lowest point

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

fox-in-summer-forest

Which of these is a synonym of inchoate?

experimental massive formless frightening
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ