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Related to coughing: bronchitis, dry cough

cough (one's) head off

To cough intensely, as from an illness. Natalie has still been coughing her head off, so I don't think the antibiotic you gave her has helped.
See also: cough, head, off

cough it up

slang To give something to someone, often after a period of evasion. Often used as an imperative. If you owe Joey money, his thugs will eventually make you cough it up. Cough it up—show us what you're looking at!
See also: cough, up

cough out

To speak while coughing. A noun or pronoun can be used between "cough" and "out." Although she tried to cough out her presentation, she ultimately had to stop and drink a glass of water.
See also: cough, out

cough up

1. To expel something through coughing. A noun or pronoun can be used between "cough" and "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." 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." 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." Joey's thugs cornered me and made me cough up the money I owed them. There wasn't even that much pressure on him when he 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." With their shaky defense, I wouldn't be surprised if they coughed up this 10-point lead.
See also: cough, up
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

cough one's head off

Fig. to cough long and hard. (See also laugh one's head off.) I had the flu. I nearly coughed my head off for two days.
See also: cough, head, off

cough something out

to say something while coughing. He coughed the words out, but no one could understand him. He coughed out the name of his assailant.
See also: cough, out

cough something up

1. to get something out of the body by coughing. She coughed some matter up and took some more medicine. She coughed up phlegm all night.
2. Euph. to vomit something. The dog coughed the rabbit up. The dog coughed up the food it had eaten.
3. Sl. to produce or present something, such as an amount of money. You will cough the money up, won't you? You had better cough up what you owe me, if you know what's good for you.
See also: cough, up
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

cough up

1. Hand over or relinquish, especially money; pay up. For example, It's time the delinquent members coughed up their dues. [Slang; late 1800s]
2. Confess or divulge, as in Pretty soon she'd cough up the whole story about last night. This idiom transfers the act of vomiting to telling the entire truth. [Slang; late 1800s]
See also: cough, up
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

cough up

1. To force something from the throat or lungs and out of the mouth by coughing: After years of smoking, he started coughing up blood. The medicine loosened the phlegm so she could cough it up.
2. Slang To pay or hand over something, as money, often reluctantly: Cough up the money or you're going to jail. I know you're short on the rent money, but you'll have to cough it up.
3. Slang To confess or disclose something: When the police arrived, we coughed up the details of the incident. When the lawyers threatened me for not disclosing the tax returns, I coughed them up.
See also: cough, up
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Phrasal Verbs. Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Cough it up!

tv. to give something—typically money—to someone, especially if done unwillingly. You owe me twenty bucks. Cough it up!
See also: cough

cough something up

tv. to produce something (which someone has requested), usually money. Cough up what you owe me!
See also: cough, something, up
McGraw-Hill's Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions Copyright © 2006 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.
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References in periodicals archive ?
'Year after year I see poor cough etiquette from spluttering through social occasions, to coughing over a colleague's desk.
The device has been tested over about 2 h in healthy volunteers simulating coughing in different situations (while walking, climbing stairs, and sitting and while in a supine position and in noisy environments).
Central neural circuits for coordination of swallowing, breathing, and coughing: Predictions from computational modeling and simulation.
Intravenous lidocaine suppresses fentanyl- induced coughing: a double-blind, prospective, randomized placebo-controlled study.
Symptoms: Initial mild, cold-like symptoms that develop over weeks into severe coughing fits that end with a 'whooping' sound and bringing up thick phlegm.
Invading microorganisms cause primary bronchitis which spread to involve surrounding pulmonary parenchyma causing coughing, respiratory distress and harsh lung sounds.
However, coughing is usually happening for a reason.
Dallas, TX, June 29, 2013 --( How long have you been coughing with no relief?
Symptoms of whooping cough are initially mild, and then develop into severe coughing fits, which produce the namesake high-pitched "whoop" sound in infected babies and children when they inhale air after coughing.
Common signs of whooping cough in babies include coughing in short bursts, followed by a 'whoop' sound as the baby gasps for air.
Second stage symptoms include: | Intense bouts of coughing, which bring up thick phlegm; | A "whoop" sound with each sharp intake of breath after coughing; | Vomiting after coughing, especially in infants and young children, and | Tiredness and redness in the face from the effort of coughing.
You can't talk for long without coughing. And your bed partner is sleeping elsewhere because your coughing is keeping you both awake at night.
The effect of the distance between the doctor and the coughing person, the posture of the coughing patient (lying sideways facing the doctor or on back), and the position of the doctor ([acing the coughing patient or standing sideways) was examined with respect to exposure to coughed air.