from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun 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 The Century Dictionary.

  • noun 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.
  • noun In surgery, the application of the cupping-glass.
  • noun A concavity in the end of a cylindrical casting, produced by the shrinkage of the metal.
  • noun A shallow countersink.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun (Med.) 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.
  • noun a glass cup in which a partial vacuum is produced by heat, in the process of cupping.
  • noun the application of a cupping instrument without scarification, to draw blood to the surface, produce counter irritation, etc.
  • noun the operation of drawing blood by the application of a cupping instrument after scarification.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun medicine, archaic The operation of drawing blood to or from the surface of the person by forming a partial vacuum over the spot.
  • noun medicine, archaic A similar operation for drawing pus from an abscess.
  • noun medicine Fire cupping, a traditional therapeutic treatment called in which heated glass cups are applied to the skin, supposedly to draw blood towards the surface.
  • noun 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.
  • verb Present participle of cup.

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

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


Sorry, no etymologies found.


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  • "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

  • Cupping? Eeeuuw!

    May 29, 2008

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

    May 29, 2008

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

    May 29, 2008

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

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

    (just kidding, yarb!)

    May 29, 2008

  • Hands up who can show us their armpits!

    May 29, 2008

  • here

    May 30, 2008

  • Nice!

    May 30, 2008

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

    May 30, 2008

  • He flipts

    She skipts

    It blipts

    for armipts.

    May 30, 2008

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

    Clearly, I should have something better to do.

    May 30, 2008

  • *thinks*

    Do necks have pits?

    May 31, 2008

  • Depends who you have been kissing, ptero.

    May 31, 2008

  • Necks have crooks.

    May 31, 2008

  • No wonder they never have any money.

    June 1, 2008

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

    June 3, 2008

  • No, but if you hum a few bars....

    June 3, 2008