A 45-year-old man complains of cough fits and tickling in his nasopharynx.

What does 'fits mean in this context?

I found many choices in the dictionary and I'm not sure which of them fits to this phrase.


It is fairly explicit in the dictionary you link to.

    If you have a fit of coughing or laughter, you suddenly start coughing or laughing in an uncontrollable way.

From the syntax the word must be a countable noun, and this is the only definition that mentions coughing.

  • If it's an adjective, so what is the letter s for? – Judicious Allure Jan 6 '20 at 22:23
  • It's a noun. a countable noun. The s forms the plural – James K Jan 6 '20 at 22:26
  • I see. Thank you! – Judicious Allure Jan 6 '20 at 22:28
  • sneezing fits are common, too. Also,fits of anger. – Lambie Jan 6 '20 at 22:45
  • As far as I know, it is normally or at least much more commonly coughing fits, not cough fits. That is a long list of definitions in the dictionary entry you linked to. It also includes: fit uncontrollable movements or emotions (fɪt ) Word forms: plural fits 1. COUNTABLE NOUN If someone has a fit they suddenly lose consciousness and their body makes uncontrollable movements. About two in every five epileptic fits occur during sleep. Once a fit has started there is nothing you can do to stop it. Synonyms: seizure, attack, bout, spasm – Jim Reynolds Jan 13 '20 at 7:18

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