—cougher, n./kawf, kof/, v.i.1. to expel air from the lungs suddenly with a harsh noise, often involuntarily.2. (of an internal-combustion engine) to make a similar noise as a result of the failure of one or more cylinders to fire in sequence.3. to make a similar sound, as a machine gun firing in spurts.v.t.4. to expel by coughing (usually fol. by up or out): to cough up phlegm.5. cough up, Slang.a. to relinquish, esp. reluctantly; contribute; give.b. to blurt out; state, as by way of making a confession: After several hours of vigorous questioning by the police, he finally coughed up the information.n.6. the act or sound of coughing.7. an illness characterized by frequent coughing.8. a sound similar to a cough, a machine gun, or an engine firing improperly.[1275-1325; ME coghen, appar. < OE *cohhian (cf. its deriv. cohhettan to cough); akin to D kuchen to cough, G keuchen to wheeze]
* * *▪ reflexan expulsive reflex initiated when the respiratory tract is irritated by infection, noxious fumes, dust, or other types of foreign bodies. The reflex results in a sudden expulsion of air from the lungs (lung) that carries with it excessive secretions or foreign material from the respiratory tract. Cough is beneficial; pneumonia frequently results when an effective cough reflex is lost as a result of chest injury, disease, or oversedation. Repeated and severe coughing, however, is physically exhausting and interferes with rest. Under these circumstances drugs may be used to suppress the reflex.Cough occurs in many of the acute infectious diseases, including the common cold, in the majority of chronic pulmonary diseases, and frequently in heart disease. Any cough that persists longer than a few weeks should receive medical attention because it may be the first warning of serious disease.
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