cough Meaning, Definition & Usage

  1. noun a sudden noisy expulsion of air from the lungs that clears the air passages; a common symptom of upper respiratory infection or bronchitis or pneumonia or tuberculosis
  2. verb exhale abruptly, as when one has a chest cold or congestion
    • The smoker coughs all day


Cough intransitive verb
Cf. D. kuchen, MHG. kchen to breathe, G. keuchen to pant, and E. chincough, the first part of which is prob. akin to cough; cf. also E. choke.
imperfect & past participle Coughed present participle & verbal noun Coughing
  1. To expel air, or obstructing or irritating matter, from the lungs or air passages, in a noisy and violent manner.
Cough transitive verb
  1. To expel from the lungs or air passages by coughing; -- followed by up; as, to cough up phlegm.
  2. To bring to a specified state by coughing; as, he coughed himself hoarse.
Cough noun
Cg. D. kuch. See Cough, v. i.
  1. A sudden, noisy, and violent expulsion of air from the chest, caused by irritation in the air passages, or by the reflex action of nervous or gastric disorder, etc.
  2. The more or less frequent repetition of coughing, constituting a symptom of disease.

Webster 1913