To expel air, or obstructing or irritating matter, from the lungs or air passages, in a noisy and violent manner.
- To expel air from the lungs suddenly and noisily, often to keep the respiratory passages free of irritating material.
- To make a noise similar to noisy expulsion of air from the lungs: The engine coughed and died.
- To expel by coughing: coughed up phlegm.
- The act of coughing.
- An illness marked by frequent coughing.
- cough up Slang To hand over or relinquish (money or another possession), often reluctantly.
- cough up Slang To confess or disclose: When he saw that the police might arrest him, he coughed up the details of what he had seen.