Pronunciation: (kôf, kof), [key]
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.
1. to expel by coughing (usually fol. by up or out): to cough up phlegm.
2. 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.
1. the act or sound of coughing.
2. an illness characterized by frequent coughing.
3. a sound similar to a cough, a machine gun, or an engine firing improperly.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.