cough

verb
\ ˈkȯf How to pronounce cough (audio) \
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. See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Verb In this land of plentiful, oxygenating trees, everyone is alone, and people cough into the crook of an elbow anyway. New York Times, 4 May 2022 Qianyan Li, his wife and his children’s mother, would cook in the apartment and his son would cough. Ryan Kost, San Francisco Chronicle, 23 Nov. 2021 One person might sneeze or cough while another might become exhausted, and another will feel nothing at all. Erik Vance, Scientific American, 4 Dec. 2018 Atlanta had a rough start to the second half when Russell Gage caught a 20-yard pass over the middle to the Tampa Bay 45, only to cough the ball up on a hit by Pierre Desir. George Henry, ajc, 5 Dec. 2021 Tuberculosis is a serious infectious bacteria that affects the lungs and causes patients to cough blood, lose weight, and suffer from night sweats and fever. BostonGlobe.com, 26 Oct. 2021 Blackburn, a retired police officer, was being treated with IV dexamethasone and remdesivir, and stopped to cough a few times during his conversation with a Free Press reporter. Kristen Jordan Shamus, Detroit Free Press, 17 Sep. 2021 Why stop with the right to cough on strangers in a public place and give them a disease? Michael Tomasky, The New Republic, 6 Dec. 2021 Brian has been on Trikafta since 2019 and the drug has massively improved his life, especially his ability to sing his way through a song without stopping over and over again to cough. Katie Hafner, Scientific American, 25 Nov. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun For a candy born of cough medicine, licorice has really pulled itself up by the boot, er, straps. Rebecca Douglas, Bon Appétit, 20 Apr. 2022 In July 2020, Merneith tested positive in California for dextrorphan, an ingredient in cough medicine. Jim Chairusmi, WSJ, 1 Mar. 2022 In July 2020, Merneith tested positive for dextromethorphan, a drug commonly used in cough medicine. Los Angeles Times, 1 Oct. 2021 According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, common symptoms between seasonal allergies and COVID can include cough, headache and tiredness. Tori B. Powell, CBS News, 14 Apr. 2022 The disease typically affects the lungs and can present with respiratory symptoms such as cough, fever or chest pains, among other problems. Los Angeles Times, 4 Apr. 2022 That means symptoms of a mild BA.2 infection include things like cough, fever, fatigue and possible loss of taste or smell. Leada Gore | Lgore@al.com, al, 1 Apr. 2022 Symptoms resemble tuberculosis with a productive cough, weight loss and tremendous fatigue. Dr. Keith Roach, oregonlive, 29 Mar. 2022 This can lead to symptoms including conjunctivitis, fever, cough, sore throat, muscle aches, nausea, abdominal pain, diarrhea, vomiting, shortness of breath, and more, according to the CDC. Serena Coady, SELF, 22 Feb. 2022 See More

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.

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 and Noun

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

Learn More About cough

Time Traveler for cough

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Dictionary Entries Near cough

cougar

cough

cough drop

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for cough

Last Updated

12 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Cough.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/cough. Accessed 23 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for cough

cough

verb
\ ˈkȯf How to pronounce cough (audio) \
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

cough

intransitive verb
\ ˈkȯf How to pronounce cough (audio) \

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

More from Merriam-Webster on cough

Nglish: Translation of cough for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of cough for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about cough

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