Meaning of “cough” in the English Dictionary

"cough" in British English

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coughverb [ I ]

uk /kɒf/ us /kɑːf/

B1 to force air out of your lungs through your throat with a short, loud sound:

The smoke made me cough.
I coughed all night long.

to make a sound like a cough:

The car engine coughed a few times, but wouldn't start.

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Phrasal verb(s)

coughnoun [ C ]

uk /kɒf/ us /kɑːf/

B1 the act of coughing, or the sound this makes:

a dry cough (= one that does not produce mucus)
a hacking (= very bad and loud) cough

an illness that makes you cough a lot:

a smoker's cough
Emily has a very bad/nasty cough.

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(Definition of “cough” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"cough" in American English

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coughverb [ I ]

us /kɔf/

to force air out of your lungs through your throat with a short, loud sound, often unwillingly:

The smoke from the bonfire made me cough.
fig. The car engine coughed a few times, but wouldn’t start.

coughnoun [ C ]

us /kɔf/

an act of forcing air out of your lungs through your throat with a short, loud sound, often unwillingly:

a dry cough
There are lots of coughs and colds going around this winter.

(Definition of “cough” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

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