cough

verb
\ˈkȯf \
coughed; coughing; coughs

Definition of cough 

(Entry 1 of 2)

intransitive verb

1 : to expel air from the lungs suddenly with a sharp, short noise : to emit a cough (see cough entry 2 sense 1) The dust made him cough repeatedly.

2 : to make a noise like that of coughing The engine coughed and sputtered and then stopped.

transitive verb

: to expel by coughing often used with up cough up mucus

cough

noun

Definition of cough (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : 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

2 : a condition marked by repeated or frequent coughing She has a bad cough.

Examples of cough in a Sentence

Verb

She was coughing and sneezing all day. The dust made him cough. The engine coughed and sputtered and then stopped.

Noun

He has a cough and a cold. They both have bad coughs. I heard a cough from the back of the church.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Opponents are turning the ball over against the Spartans on only 14.7% of their possessions, which ranks 343rd in the country, whereas Michigan State is coughing it up 19.4% of the time (249th). Chris Johnson, SI.com, "Four Big Ten Teams Poised to Make Noise in March," 28 Feb. 2018 Edison coughed as his throat filled up with magnesium smoke. Simon Rich, The New Yorker, "Edison Labs, 1891," 18 June 2018 Ozone pollution can aggravate a host of physical problems by triggering coughing, inflaming the airways and lungs and bringing on asthma attacks. Anne Saker, Cincinnati.com, "The reason Cincy's air is bad? It's summertime, and the ozone is baking," 18 June 2018 Coming into contact with this debris can cause symptoms of an allergic reaction like coughing, sneezing, a runny nose, and itchy eyes. Nina Bahadur, SELF, "6 Ways Your Mattress Could Be Negatively Affecting Your Health," 15 June 2018 Like in humans, canine flu causes symptoms like coughing, fever, and that general ugh feeling. Sarah Klein, Health.com, "A New Study Says 'Dog Flu' Could Be the Next Swine Flu. How Worried Should You Really Be?," 7 June 2018 Symptoms include shortness of breath, coughing, chest congestion and severe weakness. Katy Scott, CNN, "The dangers of oxygen deprivation on Everest," 4 June 2018 Philadelphia, playing without veteran starting QB Dan Raudabaugh, coughed away a 28-14 lead and surrendered 21 unanswered points to fall back to .500 after starting the season 3-0. Mitchell Gladstone, Philly.com, "Soul allows 21 unanswered points, hands Washington Valor its first win of season," 10 June 2018 The men used shovels and pickaxes to dig down through the debris, coughing as their eyes watered and their bodies shrouded in clouds of ash. NBC News, "Guatemala volcano survivor searches for 46 missing family members," 7 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

This can lead to a persistent cough, labored breathing, and greater perceived exertion upon exercise, all of which are common among climbers or even just people traveling from sea level to Colorado. Brad Stulberg, Outside Online, "What Happens to Your Body When You Climb Everest," 11 June 2018 Therefore, in the comforts of his Arizona ranch, the senator is reportedly receiving old friends and considering his life’s biggest regrets (cough, Sarah Palin). Amanda Arnold, The Cut, "John McCain Doesn’t Want Donald Trump at His Funeral," 6 May 2018 Ear infections, respiratory issues, cold, cough, abrasions and the flu are some common cases the urgent care is expecting to see. Samie Gebers, azcentral, "Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport opens urgent care to treat travelers, employees," 25 Apr. 2018 Common symptoms include a bad cough lasting longer than 3 weeks, chest pain, and coughing up blood or sputum. Brett Molina, USA TODAY, "Tuberculosis scare forces evacuations at Johns Hopkins Hospital," 6 July 2018 Once a dog's vocal cords have been removed its bark is said to sound more like a hoarse cough. Lisa Gutierrez, kansascity, "Breeder 'debarked' dogs by shoving a pipe down their throats, Penn. authorities say," 30 May 2018 Popat believes that the medical side will increase as the benefits are discovered for families who have to sometimes make decisions on whether to leave work for a cough or other minor medical interventions. David Taylor, Houston Chronicle, "DISD stepping into the future with student health," 14 Mar. 2018 Its symptoms include red eyes, cough, runny nose, and high fever, which is followed by a red rash that's spread throughout the body. Deasia Paige, Detroit Free Press, "Man left measles germs in 2 metro Detroit counties," 21 June 2018 Apart from coughs and scratches, the first eight boys rescued were in surprisingly good health. George Styllis, latimes.com, "From mission impossible to mission accomplished: Thailand rejoices as last boys rescued from cave," 11 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'cough.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of cough

Verb

14th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1

Noun

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2

History and Etymology for cough

Verb

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

Noun

see cough entry 1

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Phrases Related to cough

cough mixture

hacking cough

smoker's cough

Statistics for cough

Last Updated

15 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for cough

The first known use of cough was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for cough

cough

verb

English Language Learners Definition of cough

 (Entry 1 of 2)

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

: to make a noise like that of coughing

cough

noun

English Language Learners Definition of cough (Entry 2 of 2)

: a physical condition or illness that causes someone to cough

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

cough

verb
\ˈkȯf \
coughed; coughing

Kids Definition of cough

 (Entry 1 of 2)

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

2 : to get rid of by coughing cough up mucus

cough

noun

Kids Definition of cough (Entry 2 of 2)

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

2 : an act or sound of coughing a dry cough

\ˈkȯf \

Medical Definition of cough 

(Entry 1 of 2)

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

transitive verb

: to expel by coughing often used with up cough up mucus

cough

noun

Medical Definition of cough (Entry 2 of 2)

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

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

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Comments on cough

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