- A rapid expulsion of air from the lungs typically in order to clear the lung airways of fluids, mucus, or material. Also called tussis.
* * *1. A sudden explosive forcing of air through the glottis, occurring immediately on opening the previously closed glottis, excited by mechanical or chemical irritation of the trachea or bronchi or by pressure from adjacent structures. 2. To force air through the glottis by a series of expiratory efforts. [echoic]- aneurysmal c. c. due to impingement of an aortic aneurysm on the recurrent laryngeal nerve or other nearby structures.- habit c. a persistent c. due to a tic or to psychological causes.- privet c. an allergic c., occurring in China during May and June, supposed to be caused by inhalation of the pollen of a species of privet (Lingustrum); it is analogous to the laurel fever seen in New England.- weaver's c. term for c., dyspnea, and sense of constriction of the chest, caused in persons working with mildewed yarns.- whooping c. SYN: pertussis.
* * *cough 'kȯf vi to expel air from the lungs suddenly with an explosive noise usu. in a series of efforts vt to expel by coughing often used with up <\cough up mucus>cough n1) an ailment manifesting itself by frequent coughing <he has a bad \cough>2) an explosive expulsion of air from the lungs acting as a protective mechanism to clear the air passages or as a symptom of pulmonary disturbance
* * *(kawf) 1. a sudden noisy expulsion of air from the lungs, usually produced to keep the airways of the lungs free of foreign matter; see also under reflex. Called also tussis. 2. to produce such an expulsion of air.
Medical dictionary. 2011.