American English

Definition of cough verb from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



    Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they cough
    he / she / it coughs
    past simple coughed
    -ing form coughing
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  1. 1[intransitive] to force out air suddenly and noisily through your throat, for example when you have a cold I couldn't stop coughing. to cough nervously/politely/discreetly
  2. 2[transitive] cough something (up) to force something out of your throat or lungs by coughing Sometimes she coughed (up) blood.
  3. 3[intransitive] (of an engine) to make a sudden unpleasant noise The old engine coughed and spluttered into life.
  4. Phrasal Verbscough up
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: cough