A hiccup is a jerky, repeated contraction in your diaphragm — it's a sort of involuntary tic you can feel in your throat and chest. People who have hiccups usually make a "hic" sound.

Hiccups are a kind of spasm that can be brief or linger frustratingly. One man famously suffered from hiccups for 68 years — for that whole time, not a single folk remedy (doing a headstand, drinking water fast, being scared by someone, and so on) worked to relieve them. The word hiccup is imitative of the sound of hiccups. An Old English word for it was ælfsogoða, "elf heartburn," since hiccups were thought to be caused by elves.

Definitions of hiccup
  1. noun
    (usually plural) the state of having reflex spasms of the diaphragm accompanied by a rapid closure of the glottis producing an audible sound; sometimes a symptom of indigestion
    “how do you cure the hiccups?”
    synonyms: hiccough, singultus
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    type of:
    inborn reflex, innate reflex, instinctive reflex, physiological reaction, reflex, reflex action, reflex response, unconditioned reflex
    an automatic instinctive unlearned reaction to a stimulus
    (medicine) any sensation or change in bodily function that is experienced by a patient and is associated with a particular disease
  2. verb
    breathe spasmodically, and make a sound
    “When you have to hiccup, drink a glass of cold water”
    synonyms: hiccough
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    type of:
    breathe, respire, suspire, take a breath
    draw air into, and expel out of, the lungs
  3. noun
    a minor or temporary error or setback
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    type of:
    black eye, blow, reversal, reverse, setback
    an unfortunate happening that hinders or impedes; something that is thwarting or frustrating
Word Family

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