English

Definition of cough verb from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary

      

    cough

     verb
    verb
    BrE BrE//kɒf//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//kɔːf//
     
    Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they cough
    BrE BrE//kɒf//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//kɔːf//
     
    he / she / it coughs
    BrE BrE//kɒfs//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//kɔːfs//
     
    past simple coughed
    BrE BrE//kɒft//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//kɔːft//
     
    past participle coughed
    BrE BrE//kɒft//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//kɔːft//
     
    -ing form coughing
    BrE BrE//ˈkɒfɪŋ//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈkɔːfɪŋ//
     
     
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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. Word Origin Middle English: of imitative origin; related to Dutch kuchen ‘to cough’ and German keuchen ‘to pant’.Extra examples He had a coughing fit and couldn’t speak for a few moments. He vomited and began coughing up blood. The brandy made her cough and splutter. The old engine coughed into life. He coughed the dust out of his lungs. He inhaled the smoke and started coughing and spluttering. I couldn’t stop coughing. She coughed nervously and looked at me. Sometimes she coughed up blood. Phrasal Verbscough up
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: cough