views updated May 11 2018

high / / • adj. 1. of great vertical extent: the top of a high mountain the mast was higher than the tallest building in the city. ∎  (after a measurement and in questions) measuring a specified distance from top to bottom: a tree forty feet high how high is the fence? ∎  far above ground, sea level, or another point of reference: a fortress high up on a hill. ∎  extending above the normal or average level: a round face with a high forehead. ∎  (of territory or landscape) inland and well above sea level: high prairies. ∎  near to the top of a real or notional list in order of rank or importance: financial security is high on your list of priorities. ∎  performed at, to, or from a considerable height: high diving. ∎  Baseball (of a pitched ball) above a certain level, such as the batter's armpits, as it crosses home plate, and thus outside the strike zone.2. great, or greater than normal, in quantity, size, or intensity: a high temperature | fudge is high in calories. ∎  of large numerical or monetary value: they had been playing for high stakes. ∎  very favorable: nature had provided him with an admirably high opinion of himself. ∎  extreme in religious or political views: the high Christology of the Christian creeds. ∎  (of a period or movement) at its peak: high summer. ∎  (of latitude) close to 90°; near the North or South Pole: high southern latitudes.3. great in rank or status: he held high office in professional organizations. ∎  ranking above others of the same kind: they announced the High Commissioner's retirement. ∎  morally or culturally superior: they believed that nature was driven by something higher than mere selfishness.4. (of a sound or note) having a frequency at the upper end of the auditory range: a high, squeaky voice. ∎  (of a singer or instrument) producing notes of relatively high pitch: a high soprano voice.5. inf. excited; euphoric: he was high on an idea. ∎  intoxicated with drugs: some of them were already high on alcohol and Ecstasy.6. unpleasantly strong-smelling, in particular (of food) beginning to go bad. ∎  (of game) slightly decomposed and so ready to cook.7. Phonet. (of a vowel) produced with the tongue relatively near the palate.• n. 1. a high point, level, or figure: commodity prices were at a rare high. ∎  a notably happy or successful moment: the highs and lows of life. ∎  a high-frequency sound or musical note. ∎  an area of high atmospheric pressure; an anticyclone.2. [usu. in sing.] inf. a state of high spirits or euphoria: the highs I got from cocaine always ended in despair | the team is still on a high from Saturday’s victory.3. inf. high school (chiefly used in names): I enjoyed my years at McKinley High.4. a high power setting: the vent blower was on high. ∎  top gear in a motor vehicle.• adv. 1. at or to a considerable or specified height: the sculpture stood about five feet high.2. highly: he ranked high among the pioneers of twentieth-century chemical technology. ∎  at a high price: buying shares low and selling them high.3. (of a sound) at or to a high pitch.PHRASES: ace (or king or queen, etc.) high (in card games) having the ace (or another specified card) as the highest-ranking.from on high from a very high place. ∎  from remote high authority or heaven: government programs coming down from on high.high and dry out of the water, esp. the sea as it retreats: when the tide goes out, a lot of boats are left high and dry. ∎  in a difficult position, esp. without resources: when the plant shut down, hundreds of workers found themselves high and dry.high and low in many different places: we searched high and low for a new teacher.high and mighty chiefly derog. important and influential: the accursed high and mighty elite. ∎ inf. thinking or acting as though one is more important than others.a high old time inf. a most enjoyable time: they had a high old time at the clambake.high, wide, and handsome inf. expansive and impressive.it is high time that —— it is past the time when something should have happened or been done: it was high time that she faced the facts.on high in or to heaven or a high place: a spotter plane circling on high.on one's high horse inf. used to refer to someone’s behaving in an arrogant or pompous manner: get down off your high horse.run high (of a river) be full and close to overflowing, with a strong current. ∎  (of feelings) be intense: passions run high when marriages break up.


views updated May 29 2018

high High Church of or adhering to a tradition within the Anglican Church emphasizing ritual, priestly authority, sacraments, and historical continuity with Catholic Christianity.
High German the standard literary and spoken form of German, originally used in the highlands in the south of Germany. The establishment of this form as a standard language owes much to the biblical translations of Martin Luther in the 16th century.
High Holidays the Jewish festivals of Yom Kippur and Rosh Hashana.
High Mass a Roman Catholic or Anglo-Catholic mass with full ceremonial, including music and incense and typically having the assistance of a deacon and subdeacon.
high priest the chief priest of the historic Jewish religion.
high seas the open ocean, especially that not within any country's jurisdiction.
high table a table in a dining hall, typically on a platform, for the most important people, such as the fellows of a college.
high treason the crime of betraying one's country, treason against the sovereign or state.

See also friends in high places, hang as high as Haman, come hell or high water, higher, live high on the hog, the mile-high club, plain living and high thinking.


views updated May 18 2018

high OE. hēah = OS., OHG. hōh (Du. hoog, G. hoch), ON. hār, Goth. hauhs :- Gmc. *χauχāz :- IE. *koukos (cf. Lith. kaūkas swelling, boil, kaûkarus height, hill. ON. haugr hill. Goth. hiuhma heap. Russ. kúcha heap). cf. HEIGHT. Combs. high-brow, back-formation from high-browed (orig. U.S.) XX; high-churchman (whence high church) XVII; highland OE. hēahlond; high street highway, main road; main street of a town. OE. hēahstrǣt often used of the Roman roads; highway public road. OE. hēiweġ;
Hence highwayman XVII.