To sigh with a sudden heaving of the breast, or with a kind of convulsive motion; to sigh with tears, and with a convulsive drawing in of the breath. Sobbing is the same thing [as sighing], stronger. (bacon) She sighed, she sobbed, and, furious with despair. She rent her garments, and she tore her hair. (Dryden)
Origin: OE. Sobben; akin to AS. Seofian, siofian, to complain, bewail, seofung, siofung, sobbing, lamentation; cf. OHG. Sfton, sftn, to sigh, MHG. Siuften, siufzen, G. Seufzen, MHG. Sft a sigh, properly, a drawing in of breath, from sfen to drink, OHG. Sfan. Cf. Sup.