Definition of cough something up (or cough up) in US English:

cough something up (or cough up)

phrasal verb

  • Give something reluctantly, especially money or information that is due or required.

    • ‘He closely guarded company secrets but now is no doubt coughing them up.’
    • ‘Play eventually settled down a lot more, but players again slumped back into inefficient and unaccountable football, both teams guilty of coughing the ball up on numerous occasions, eight times in one particular passage of play.’
    • ‘I think he knows what's going on in his head and he isn't coughing it up.’
    • ‘When your automated teller machines divide and arrange your money before coughing it up, they are all using partition theory.’
    • ‘But I coughed it up anyway, and then they came back and said that they want my old driver's license number.’
    • ‘The authorities intervened and forbade them from leaving till the amount was coughed up.’
    • ‘When they didn't have the ball, they strangled opponents into coughing it up.’
    • ‘Maybe there was some other reason - perhaps he will cough it up before he goes?’
    • ‘We didn't have enough possession and when we did get the ball we coughed it up too easily.’
    • ‘You can click the link to see if the story sounds interesting enough to cough up five bucks for it.’
    pay, pay up, pay out
    View synonyms