Meaning of HIGH in English


I. ˈhī adjective

( -er/-est )

Etymology: Middle English hegh, hey, high, from Old English hēah; akin to Old High German hōh high, Old Norse hār, Gothic hauhs high, Latin cacumen top, point, Old Irish cūar bent, crooked, Sanskrit kucati he contracts, bends, curves; basic meaning: bending



(1) : having a relatively great upward extension : lofty

a high tree

a high mountain

(2) : being at or rising to a considerable elevation above the ground or other base : elevated

a high leap

a high plateau

(3) : of, relating to, or located on highlands or a plateau

High Asia

(4) of a person : tall

(5) : having a specified altitude or elevation

a new office building 10 stories high

— often used in combination

knee- high

sky- high

(6) : articulated with some part of the tongue close to the palate

ē, i, ü, and u̇ are high vowels

(7) : pitched above shoulder height

a high ball


(1) : advanced toward its acme or fullest extent

it was now high June — Guy McCrone

: advanced toward its most active or culminating period

an Italian vacation during the high season — New York Times

specifically : constituting the late, fully developed, or most creative stage or period (as of an artistic style or career or historical movement)

High Baroque

High Gothic

the high period of William Faulkner's work — M.D.Geismar

the high middle ages

(2) : none too early : verging on lateness — usually used in the phrase high time

high time … that your mother came home — Isa Glenn

(3) : acute in pitch : sharp , shrill

a high tone

a high alto voice

she heard the high giggles of the … young men — Louis Auchincloss

: raised , loud

“halt!” he called in a high voice

also : of or relating to those musical notes or tones in the three-line or thrice-accented octave especially in singing

she sang a high C easily

(4) : long past : ancient , remote

the use of which goes back … to a high antiquity — Edward Clodd

(5) : being far toward one of the poles with the equator as base — used chiefly in the phrase high latitude

(6) : being near the wind — used of a ship or its head when pointing close to the wind

(7) : being toward the middle or near the end of a series of compounds

higher alcohols containing six or more carbon atoms

(8) : having a complex organization : greatly differentiated or developed phylogenetically — usually used in the comparative degree of advanced types of animals and plants

the higher algae

the higher apes

(9) : sexually mature and active

high males of the species

(10) : exhausted of nearly all air or gas

high vacuum


(1) : of relatively great degree, size, or amount

gambling for high stakes

unemployment was high

the high cost of living

enjoyed a high standard of living

moved at a high speed

going into the market at the time of high business — Samuel Johnson

an automobile engine having high compression

(2) : dear in price : expensive

everything is so high nowadays

(3) : violent , strong , vehement

a high wind came up

the high passions of this hour

: marked by high waves

a high sea

(4) : containing a relatively great amount

a food high in iron

(5) : having more value than another card

the queen is higher than the jack

: capable of taking a trick

the nine is high

(6) : giving the highest ratio of propeller-shaft to engine-shaft speed and the lowest multiplication of torque

a high transmission gear

in high gear


(1) : intense , extreme

people of high anxiety — Vance Packard

high disfavor in her face — Edna Ferber

the boys were in high glee — H.A.Chippendale

the high brilliance of this gem

my … uncle's high disapproval — Joyce Cary

the high seriousness … and the sound scholarship which inform his work — C.I.Glicksberg

his hopes were high

(2) : rich , luxurious

indulged in a brief but reckless period of high living — H.M.Skala

(3) : marked by a pink or rosy glow or flush : florid

a large, personable window, with a … high complexion — Dorothy Sayers

a sturdy, handsome, high- colored woman — Carl Van Doren

also : bright , pronounced

fall styles in high shades — New York Times

high flesh tints play a major part in the tonal organization of the picture — Bernard Smith

(4) : strong-scented : slightly tainted

should cook game when it is high

also : malodorous , stinking

dead … had been there since yesterday, and they were plenty high — Shelby Foote

found their blankets a little high for civilized noses — Jackson Burgess

(5) : intensive

made their localities into symbols of high farming — A.W.Smith

the first systematic efforts at high breeding — E.D.Ross

2. : elevated or advanced in rank, quality, or character: as


(1) : of exalted social or political standing : aristocratic , powerful

high society consisting of the Spaniards and Creoles of property — C.L.Jones

mainly concerned with Roman high life — William Murray

a high official of the government

(2) : of the first or great consequence : important , supreme

primarily a parliament is a high court of justice — A.F.Pollard

high preparations were necessary for this journey — Herbert Hoover

: grave , serious

a high insult

aroused high displeasure

: critical , climactic

at this high hour of Australia's history — W.F.Hambly

the high moments were the start in the freshness of morning — John Buchan

the high point of the novel is the escape

the high spot of the Republican doings will come Friday night — Spokane (Wash.) Spokesman-Review

(3) : relating to matters of the first importance : conducted on an exalted political or social level

offered a fertile field for high intrigue — Carl Bridenbaugh

born into the world of high politics

(4) : rating or ranking as best, first, or most eligible

the high man among entrants in the tryout

if a bidder should be the high bidder on a facility — U.S. Code


(1) : morally or spiritually exalted : noble , edifying

a man of high character

met his death in the high Roman fashion — John Buchan

writing is a high calling — Cyril Connolly

good intent and high purpose are not enough — D.D.Eisenhower

high thinking and plain living

(2) : intellectually or artistically of the first order : excellent

the high tradition of the European fairy story and folk tale — British Book News

a theatrical production of high quality

(3) : preeminent among or surpassing other civilizations or societies by some criteria

the high civilizations of Middle America and the Andean Highlands — Holger Cahill

(4) : characterized by sublime, heroic, or stirring events or subject matter : intensely moving : exciting

a tale of high adventure

high romance and profound sympathy for the proletariat appear side by side in the poetry — Encyc. Americana

the act in which she faces her accusers is high drama

the high tragedy ends with both … dying but clasping each other's hands — Leslie Rees

(5) : depending not so much on situation as on fine characterization and witty dialogue

high comedy

(6) : conforming to some standard of correctness or excellence in speech or grammar

the high Arabic of the Koran — J.C.Swaim

(7) : not of the ordinary or routine sort : extravagant , boisterous

an hour for high … nonsense — Elinor Wylie

held high revelry at the castle that night

along with her went excitement and high occasion — Nadine Gordimer

c. : difficult to comprehend or master : recondite , abstruse

when it comes to philosophy, high thought, and the eternal verities — Bergen Evans



(1) : indicating or reflecting anger : wrathful

saw there were going to be high words — Dodie Smith

threatening them in very high language — George Willison

(2) : arrogant , overbearing , imperious

carry things with a high hand — John Buchan

you certainly take a very high tone — Louis Auchincloss

(3) : pretentious , ambitious

a high boast, but it is true — W.R.Inge

makes high claims for his invention


(1) : zealous , eager , favorable , keen — usually used with on

is unusually high on her next venture — Lewis Funke

has been particularly high on him — Newsweek

(2) : extreme, devoted, or rigid in advocacy or practice especially in matters of doctrine or ceremony

hated as the leader of high toryism — British Book News

specifically usually capitalized : high church


(1) : elated , gay , cheerful

she hadn't the high spirits which endear grown-ups to healthy children — Joseph Conrad

had a high old time together

his heart was high as he entered the old homestead

those were the high days — Sinclair Lewis

(2) : hysterically or feverishly excited or gay : keyed up

so high from nervous tension … they need half a dozen drinks to sober down — Alfred Bester

like a high patient after shock treatment — Joseph Hitrec

(3) : intoxicated , drunk

getting higher all the time by nipping at … martinis — Daniel Curley

high as a kite

also : excited or stupefied by a narcotic substance (as heroin)


tall , lofty : high , the most general of these terms, implies marked extension upward, usually from a base or foundation, or placement at a conspicuous height above the ground or above some lower level taken as the norm

a high building

a high cliff

a high cupboard

In extension it is often used to indicate a great degree of what it modifies or to stress a certain moral elevation

a high color

a high volume of sound

a high purpose

tall applies to what rises or grows high by comparison with others of its kind, especially when it is small in breadth as compared to its height

a tall man

a tall flagpole

lofty , suggesting a greater, more imposing altitude than high or tall , has a much wider figurative than literal application carrying the idea of moral grandeur, dignity, or stature or of superciliousness

a lofty mountain

a lofty position in the church

a lofty plane of conversation

a lofty attitude toward servants

II. adverb

( -er/-est )

Etymology: Middle English heghe, heye, highe, high, from Old English hēah, hēage, from hēah, adjective

: in a high manner: as


(1) : at or to a great distance or altitude

after a cup of tea we walked a little higher — John Seago

climbed high on the ladder

the waves dashed high

— often used in combination

a high- climbing vine

(2) : far up toward the source

allow passage of … vessels as high as Albany — Herman Beukema

— usually used with up

lives high up the river

b. : in or to a high position, amount, or degree

prices have gone too high

that young man is aiming high

how high can one rise in this organization

delay had cost high in bitterness — Time

— often used in combination

a high- ranking official

c. : richly , luxuriously

has gay reunions … and lives high — J.W.Krutch

— often used in the phrases high off the hog or high on the hog

the new America is eating too high on the hog for its own good — Newsweek

III. noun

( -s )

Etymology: Middle English hegh, hey, high, from hegh, hey, high, adjective

1. : an elevated place or region: as

a. : hill , knoll

flat as a table top, without a single high or low — Harold Sinclair

b. : the upper region : the space overhead : sky — usually used with on

each lifted on high his knife — A.C.Whitehead

watched the birds wheeling on high

c. : heaven — used with on

a judgment from on high — C.S.Kilby

d. : a region of high barometric pressure : anticyclone


a. : a high point : a top level : height , acme

carrying snobbery to new … highs — Leslie Charteris

a high of 38 was due today … the weatherman forecast — Cleveland (Ohio) Plain Dealer

specifically : the highest price paid for a security during a specified period

the daily high

b. : the transmission gear giving the highest ratio of propeller-shaft to engine-shaft speed and the lowest multiplication of torque and consequently the highest speed of travel of an automotive vehicle


(1) : the highest trump that has been dealt in any game of the all-fours family

(2) : the highest-ranking combination of upcards in stud poker

3. : people of a class regarded as socially superior

you find scoundrels among both the high and the low

4. : high school

she learned bookkeeping in high — John O'Hara

5. slang : the excited or stupefied state produced by a narcotic substance (as heroin)

IV. noun

: a state of elation or high spirits

the high of victory

Webster's New International English Dictionary.      Новый международный словарь английского языка Webster.