cough something up

cough up

1. To expel something through coughing. A noun or pronoun can be used between "cough" and "up" or after "up." While I was sick, I found myself constantly coughing up phlegm. The child was able to cough up the bit of food he was choking on, thank goodness.
2. To vomit. A noun or pronoun can be used between "cough" and "up" or after "up." When I had food poisoning, I felt like I coughed up everything I'd ever eaten in my life.
3. slang To divulge something. A noun or pronoun can be used between "cough" and "up" or after "up." I'm sure he'll cough up the name of his accomplice once we send in our toughest investigator.
4. slang To give something to someone, often after a period of evasion. A noun or pronoun can be used between "cough" and "up" or after "up." Joey's thugs cornered me and made me cough up the money I owed them. There wasn't even that much pressure on him, and he totally coughed up the basketball!
5. slang To surrender the lead in a game or competition. A noun or pronoun can be used between "cough" and "up" or after "up." With their shaky defense, I wouldn't be surprised if they coughed up this 10-point lead.
See also: cough, up

cough something up

tv. to produce something (which someone has requested), usually money. Cough up what you owe me!
See also: cough, something, up