- To expel air from the lungs suddenly and noisily, often to keep the respiratory passages free of irritating material. (verb-intransitive)
- To make a noise similar to noisy expulsion of air from the lungs: The engine coughed and died. (verb-intransitive)
- To expel by coughing: coughed up phlegm. (verb-transitive)
- The act of coughing. (noun)
- An illness marked by frequent coughing. (noun)
American Heritage(R) Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright (c) 2011 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.