(Latin: a hiccup; a sob, a speech broken by sobs)
2. An extraordinary type of breathing movement that involves a sudden intake of air, or inspiration, due to a sudden involuntary contraction of the diaphragm, accompanied by the closure of the glottis (opening between the vocal cords) in the larynx (vocal cords area).
The closure of the glottis then halts the incoming air and the column of air strikes the closed glottis to produce the characteristic sounds of hiccups.
Transient episodes are common; while "persistent hiccups" (up to two days) and "intractable hiccups" (up to one month) are uncommon and quite distressing for the person who is experiencing the condition.
Singultus is "medicalese" for "hiccup" and comes from a Latin element that means "a gasp" or "a sob"; especially, those which are repeated.
An involuntary spasmodic contraction of the diaphragm, causing a beginning inspiration that is suddenly checked by closure of the glottis, causing a characteristic sound.
Some medical researchers believe that people hiccup because their bodies are trying to push out air that is trapped between the gulped-down food in full stomachs; or, perhaps their bodies are trying to protect them from choking, by preventing them from eating while they are so full.
Another explanation for hiccoughing may be the result of eating or drinking too much, too quickly, and these may confuse the coordination between the breathing and swallowing processes and so irritate the diaphragm.
A hiccough is an extraordinary type of breathing movement involving a sudden intake of air (inspiration) due to an involuntary contraction of the diaphragm accompanied by closure of the vocal apparatus (glottis) of the larynx. A hiccough is also called a "hiccup".
The abrupt inspiration is the result of a sudden contraction of the diaphragm. Closure of the glottis then halts the incoming air. The column of air strikes the closed glottis to produce the characteristic sound: a hiccup.
Hiccups are often rhythmic. They are usually just a minor nuisance, but prolonged hiccups can become a major medical problem.
The word "hiccup" was in use by 1530. It is an instance of onomatopoeia, the imitation of natural sounds by words.