/ haɪ; NAmE / adjective , noun , adverb
( high·er , high·est )
FROM BOTTOM TO TOP
measuring a long distance from the bottom to the top :
What's the highest mountain in the US?
The house has a high wall all the way round it.
shoes with high heels
He has a round face with a high forehead.
used to talk about the distance that sth measures from the bottom to the top :
How high is Everest?
It's only a low wall—about a metre high.
The grass was waist-high.
FAR ABOVE GROUND
at a level which is a long way above the ground or above the level of the sea :
a high branch / shelf / window
The rooms had high ceilings.
They were flying at high altitude.
the grasslands of the high prairies
GREATER THAN NORMAL
greater or better than normal in quantity or quality, size or degree :
a high temperature / speed / price
a high rate of inflation
Demand is high at this time of year.
a high level of pollution
a high standard of craftsmanship
A high degree of accuracy is needed.
The tree blew over in the high winds .
We had high hopes for the business (= we believed it would be successful) .
The cost in terms of human life was high.
—compare low (4)
CONTAINING A LOT
high (in sth) containing a lot of a particular substance
OPP low :
foods which are high in fat
a high potassium content
a high-fat diet
RANK / STATUS
(usually before noun) near the top in rank or status :
She has held high office under three prime ministers.
He has friends in high places (= among people of power and influence) .
of great value :
to play for high stakes
My highest card is ten.
IDEALS / PRINCIPLES
(usually before noun) morally good :
a man of high ideals / principles
(usually before noun) showing a lot of approval or respect for sb :
She is held in very high regard by her colleagues.
You seem to have a high opinion of yourself!
at the upper end of the range of sounds that humans can hear; not deep or low :
She has a high voice.
That note is definitely too high for me.
OF PERIOD OF TIME
[ only before noun ] used to describe the middle or the most attractive part of a period of time :
( of meat, cheese, etc. ) beginning to go bad and having a strong smell
ON ALCOHOL / DRUGS
[ not before noun ] high (on sth) ( informal ) behaving in an excited way because of the effects of alcohol or drugs
( phonetics ) = close (II)
—see also height
- be / get on your high horse
- have a high old time
- high and dry
- high and mighty
- high as a kite
- in high dudgeon
- smell, stink, etc. to high heaven
—more at hell , moral adjective , order noun , profile noun , time noun
LEVEL / NUMBER
the highest level or number :
Profits reached an all-time high last year.
an area of high air pressure; an anticyclone :
A high over southern Europe is bringing fine, sunny weather to all parts.
the highest temperature reached during a particular day, week, etc. :
Highs today will be in the region of 25°C.
( informal ) the feeling of extreme pleasure and excitement that sb gets after taking some types of drugs :
The high lasted all night.
FROM SUCCESS / ENJOYMENT
( informal ) the feeling of extreme pleasure and excitement that sb gets from doing sth enjoyable or being successful at sth :
He was on a real high after winning the competition.
the highs and lows of her acting career
used in the name of a high school :
He graduated from Little Rock High in 1982.
- on high
( high·er , high·est )
FAR FROM GROUND / BOTTOM
at or to a position or level that is a long way up from the ground or from the bottom :
An eagle circled high overhead.
I can't jump any higher.
She never got very high in the company.
His desk was piled high with papers.
She's aiming high (= hoping to be very successful) in her exams.
VALUE / AMOUNT
at or to a large cost, value or amount :
Prices are expected to rise even higher this year.
at a high pitch (3) :
I can't sing that high.
- high and low
- run high
—more at fly verb , head noun , ride verb
high / tall
High is used to talk about the measurement from the bottom to the top of something:
The fence is over five metres high.
He has climbed some of the world's highest mountains.
You also use high to describe the distance of something from the ground:
How high was the plane when the engine failed?
Tall is used instead of high to talk about people:
My brother's much taller than me.
Tall is also used for things that are high and narrow such as trees:
She ordered cold beer in a tall glass.
tall factory chimneys.
Buildings can be high or tall .
Old English hēah , of Germanic origin; related to Dutch hoog and German hoch .