adj., n., & adv.
1. a of great vertical extent (a high building). b (predic.; often in comb.) of a specified height (one inch high; water was waist-high).
2 a far above ground or sea level etc. (a high altitude). b inland, esp. when raised (High Asia).
3 extending above the normal or average level (high boots; jersey with a high neck).
4 of exalted, esp. spiritual, quality (high minds; high principles; high art).
5 of exalted rank (in high society; is high in the Government).
6 a great; intense; extreme; powerful (high praise; high temperature). b greater than normal (high prices). c extreme in religious or political opinion (high Tory).
7 (of physical action, esp. athletics) performed at, to, or from a considerable height (high diving; high flying).
8 colloq. (often foll. by on) intoxicated by alcohol or esp. drugs.
9 (of a sound or note) of high frequency; shrill; at the top end of the scale.
10 (of a period, an age, a time, etc.) at its peak (high noon; high summer; High Renaissance).
11 a (of meat) beginning to go bad; off. b (of game) well-hung and slightly decomposed.
12 Geog. (of latitude) near the North or South Pole.
13 Phonet. (of a vowel) close (see CLOSE(1) adj. 14).
1. a high, or the highest, level or figure.
2 an area of high barometric pressure; an anticyclone.
3 sl. a euphoric drug-induced state.
4 top gear in a motor vehicle.
5 US colloq. high school.
6 (the High) Brit. colloq. a High Street, esp. that in Oxford.
1. far up; aloft (flew the flag high).
2 in or to a high degree.
3 at a high price.
4 (of a sound) at or to a high pitch (sang high).
Phrases and idioms:
ace (or King or Queen etc.) high (in card games) having the ace etc. as the highest-ranking card. from on high from heaven or a high place. High Admiral etc. a chief officer. high altar the chief altar of a church. high and dry
1. out of the current of events; stranded.
2 (of a ship) out of the water.
high and low
1. everywhere (searched high and low).
2 (people) of all conditions.
high and mighty
1. colloq. arrogant.
2 archaic of exalted rank. high-born of noble birth. high camp sophisticated camp (cf. CAMP(2)). high card a card that outranks others, esp. the ace or a court-card. high chair an infant's chair with long legs and a tray, for use at meals. High Church n. a section of the Church of England emphasizing ritual, priestly authority, and sacraments.
--adj. of or relating to this section. High Churchman (pl. -men) an advocate of High Church principles. high-class of high quality. high colour a flushed complexion. high command an army commander-in-chief and associated staff. High Commission an embassy from one Commonwealth country to another. High Commissioner the head of such an embassy. High Court (also in England High Court of Justice) a supreme court of justice for civil cases. high day a festal day. High Dutch see DUTCH. high enema an enema delivered into the colon. higher animal (or plant) an animal or plant evolved to a high degree. higher court Law a court that can overrule the decision of another. the higher criticism see CRITICISM. higher education education at university etc., esp. to degree level. higher mathematics advanced mathematics as taught at university etc. higher-up colloq. a person of higher rank. highest common factor Math. the highest number that can be divided exactly into each of two or more numbers. high explosive an extremely explosive substance used in shells, bombs, etc. high fashion HAUTE COUTURE. high fidelity the reproduction of sound with little distortion, giving a result very similar to the original. high finance financial transactions involving large sums. high-flown (of language etc.) extravagant, bombastic. high-flyer (or -flier)
1. an ambitious person.
2 a person or thing with great potential for achievement. high-flying reaching a great height; ambitious. high frequency a frequency, esp. in radio, of 3 to
30 megahertz. high gear see GEAR. High German see GERMAN. high-grade of high quality.
1. a tall hat; a top hat.
2 foot-operated cymbals.
3 a snobbish or overbearing person. high-hat
--adj. supercilious; snobbish.
--v. (-hatted, -hatting) US
1. tr. treat superciliously.
2 intr. assume a superior attitude. high holiday the Jewish New Year or the Day of Atonement. high jinks boisterous joking or merrymaking.
1. an athletic event consisting of jumping as high as possible over a bar of adjustable height.
2 colloq. a drastic punishment (he's for the high-jump). high-key Photog. consisting of light tones only. high kick a dancer's kick high in the air.
1. (of negotiations etc.) conducted by high-ranking people.
2 Computing (of a programming language) that is not machine-dependent and is usu. at a level of abstraction close to natural language. high life (or living) a luxurious existence ascribed to the upper classes. high-lows archaic boots reaching over the ankles. high mass see MASS(2). high-octane (of petrol etc.) having good antiknock properties. high old colloq. most enjoyable (had a high old time). high opinion of a favourable opinion of.
1. (of a sound) high.
2 (of a roof) steep.
3 (of style etc.) lofty. high places the upper ranks of an organization etc. high point the maximum or best state reached. high polymer a polymer having a high molecular weight.
1. having great power or energy.
2 important or influential.
1. a high degree of activity or exertion.
2 a condition of the atmosphere with the pressure above average.
1. a chief priest, esp. Jewish.
2 the head of any cult. high profile exposure to attention or publicity. high-profile adj. (usu. attrib.) having a high profile. high-ranking of high rank, senior. high relief see RELIEF.
1. (of a building) having many storeys.
2 such a building. high-risk (usu. attrib.) involving or exposed to danger (high-risk sports). high road 1 a main road.
2 (usu. foll. by to) a direct route (on the high road to success). high roller US sl. a person who gambles large sums or spends freely.
1. Brit. a grammar school.
2 US & Sc. a secondary school. high sea (or seas) open seas not within any country's jurisdiction. high season the period of the greatest number of visitors at a resort etc. High Sheriff see SHERIFF. high sign US colloq. a surreptitious gesture indicating that all is well or that the coast is clear. high-sounding pretentious, bombastic.
1. operating at great speed.
2 (of steel) suitable for cutting-tools even when red-hot. high-spirited vivacious; cheerful. high-spiritedness high spirits. high spirits vivacity; energy; cheerfulness. high spot sl. an important place or feature.
1. a horse that lifts its feet high when walking or trotting.
2 a stately person. High Steward see STEWARD n. 6. high street Brit. a main road, esp. the principal shopping street of a town. high-strung highly-strung. high table a table on a platform at a public dinner or for the fellows of a college. high tea Brit. a main evening meal usu. consisting of a cooked dish, bread and butter, tea, etc. high tech n. high technology.
1. (of interior design etc.) imitating styles more usual in industry etc., esp. using steel, glass, or plastic in a functional way.
2 employing, requiring, or involved in high technology. high technology advanced technological development, esp. in electronics. high-tensile (of metal) having great tensile strength. high tension high voltage. high tide the time or level of the tide at its flow. high time a time that is late or overdue (it is high time they arrived). high-toned stylish; dignified; superior. high treason see TREASON. high-up colloq. a person of high rank. high voltage electrical potential causing some danger of injury or damage.
1. the tide at its fullest.
2 the time of this.
1. the level reached at high water.
2 the maximum recorded value or highest point of excellence. high, wide, and handsome colloq. in a carefree or stylish manner. high wire a high tightrope. high words angry talk. high yellow US a person of mixed race with a palish skin. in high feather see FEATHER. the Most High God. on high in or to heaven or a high place. on one's high horse colloq. behaving superciliously or arrogantly.
1. play for high stakes.
2 play a card of high value.
1. (of the sea) have a strong current with high tide.
2 (of feelings) be strong.
Etymology: OE heah f. Gmc