from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A treatment in which evacuated glass cups are applied to intact or scarified skin in order to draw blood toward or through the surface. It was used for disorders associated with an excess of blood, one of the four humors of medieval physiology.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The operation of drawing blood to or from the surface of the person by forming a partial vacuum over the spot.
  • n. A similar operation for drawing pus from an abscess.
  • n. Fire cupping, a traditional therapeutic treatment called in which heated glass cups are applied to the skin, supposedly to draw blood towards the surface.
  • n. The taking of a small amount of a beverage such as tea or coffee into the mouth in order to taste it; a session where this is done.
  • v. Present participle of cup.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The operation of drawing blood to or from the surface of the person by forming a partial vacuum over the spot. Also, sometimes, a similar operation for drawing pus from an abscess.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. In surgery, the application of the cupping-glass.
  • n. A concavity in the end of a cylindrical casting, produced by the shrinkage of the metal.
  • n. A shallow countersink.
  • n. The taking of a concave form, as tobacco leaves do in drying, when placed face to back. Cupping is prevented by stringing the leaves face to face and back to back.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a treatment in which evacuated cups are applied to the skin to draw blood through the surface


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • Moreover, one should not be cupped in very hot weather nor in very cold weather; and the best season for cupping is springtide.

    The Book of The Thousand Nights And A Night

  • Also known as cupping or fire cupping, it was used by many Eastern European Jews.

    Strange Items Refered to in My Mother's Memoirs

  • It was something called cupping, a treatment which you can read about in old medical text-books but which till then I had vaguely thought of as one of those things they do to horses.

    Collected Essays

  • The Tijuanan has to prime his body, nose, and mouth for the so-called cupping that's about to commence.

    Wired Top Stories

  • However, it can be associated with glaucomatous cupping, which is the formation of an ocular-disk depression seen in some cases of glaucoma.

    Breaking News from

  • It is also called cupping, clapping, or tapotement.

    Recently Uploaded Slideshows

  • Daniella Zalcman for The Wall Street Journal Acupuncturist Xin He demonstrates a traditional Chinese therapy called cupping.

    Needled to Health

  • Although normally performed by venesection, or the cutting of a vein, in some cases other techniques, such as cupping, applying leeches, cautery, or blistering might be called for. 59

    Pestilence and Headcolds: Encountering Illness in Colonial Mexico

  • Testing coffee, or "cupping," is a meticulous affair.

    Confessions of a java junkie

  • Apparently, after going on his lecture tour through the American Midwest after his last visit to Toronto, Conan Doyle had returned in order to find a practitioner of the Oriental treatment for consumption known as "cupping".

    Archive 2009-11-15


Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.

  • No, but if you hum a few bars....

    June 3, 2008

  • But not all crooks have necks. Does anyone remember Dope Wars?

    June 3, 2008

  • No wonder they never have any money.

    June 1, 2008

  • Necks have crooks.

    May 31, 2008

  • Depends who you have been kissing, ptero.

    May 31, 2008

  • *thinks*

    Do necks have pits?

    May 31, 2008

  • Ooh, they're fun to say. Armipts, legipts, limbipts.... *humming*

    Clearly, I should have something better to do.

    May 30, 2008

  • He flipts

    She skipts

    It blipts

    for armipts.

    May 30, 2008

  • I think, c_b, that armipts are akin to legipts, both being limbipts.

    May 30, 2008

  • Nice!

    May 30, 2008

  • here

    May 30, 2008

  • Hands up who can show us their armpits!

    May 29, 2008

  • Dude. Sex fetishes with armipts are just disgusting...

    Uhh... what are armipts, anyway? ;)

    (just kidding, yarb!)

    May 29, 2008

  • It sounds like some kind of sex fetish involving armipts.

    May 29, 2008

  • Agreed. Cupping sounds like harvesting blood from tame vampires.

    May 29, 2008

  • Cupping? Eeeuuw!

    May 29, 2008

  • "Though wine tastings seem to have become less pretentious in recent years, it’s still rare to hear a top varietal compared to Cinnamon Toast Crunch cereal. But at coffee tastings — known to aficionados as cuppings — there is no prescribed lexicon, and a lot more room for whimsy."

    The New York Times, Do I Detect a Hint of ... Joe?, by Hannah Wallace, May 29, 2008

    May 29, 2008