high Meaning, Definition & Usage

  1. noun a lofty level or position or degree
    • summer temperatures reached an all-time high
  2. noun an air mass of higher than normal pressure
    • the east coast benefits from a Bermuda high
  3. noun a state of sustained elation
    • I'm on a permanent high these days
  4. noun a state of altered consciousness induced by alcohol or narcotics
    • they took drugs to get a high on
  5. noun a high place
    • they stood on high and observed the countryside
    • he doesn't like heights
  6. noun a public secondary school usually including grades 9 through 12
    senior high school; senior high; high school; highschool.
    • he goes to the neighborhood highschool
  7. noun a forward gear with a gear ratio that gives the greatest vehicle velocity for a given engine speed
    high gear.
  8. adjective greater than normal in degree or intensity or amount
    • a high temperature
    • a high price
    • the high point of his career
    • high risks
    • has high hopes
    • the river is high
    • he has a high opinion of himself
  9. adjective (literal meaning) being at or having a relatively great or specific elevation or upward extension (sometimes used in combinations like `knee-high')
    • a high mountain
    • high ceilings
    • high buildings
    • a high forehead
    • a high incline
    • a foot high
  10. adjective satellite standing above others in quality or position
    • people in high places
    • the high priest
    • eminent members of the community
  11. adjective used of sounds and voices; high in pitch or frequency
  12. adjective satellite happy and excited and energetic
    in high spirits.
  13. adjective satellite (used of the smell of meat) smelling spoiled or tainted
    gamy; gamey.
  14. adjective satellite slightly and pleasantly intoxicated from alcohol or a drug (especially marijuana)
  15. adverb at a great altitude
    high up.
    • he climbed high on the ladder
  16. adverb in or to a high position, amount, or degree
    • prices have gone up far too high
  17. adverb in a rich manner
    richly; luxuriously.
    • he lives high
  18. adverb far up toward the source
    • he lives high up the river


High intransitive verb
See Hie.
  1. To hie. Obs.
    Men must high them apace, and make haste. Holland.
High adjective
OE. high, hegh, hey, heh, AS. heáh, hh; akin to OS. hh, OFries. hag, hach, D. hoog, OHG. hh, G. hoch, Icel. hr, Sw. hög, Dan. höi, Goth. hauhs, and to Icel. haugr mound, G. hügel hill, Lith. kaukaras.
comparative Higher ; superlative Highest
  1. Elevated above any starting point of measurement, as a line, or surface; having altitude; lifted up; raised or extended in the direction of the zenith; lofty; tall; as, a high mountain, tower, tree; the sun is high.
  2. Regarded as raised up or elevated; distinguished; remarkable; conspicuous; superior; -- used indefinitely or relatively, and often in figurative senses, which are understood from the connection; as - (a) Elevated in character or quality, whether moral or intellectual; preëminent; honorable; as, high aims, or motives. "The highest faculty of the soul." Baxter. (b) Exalted in social standing or general estimation, or in rank, reputation, office, and the like; dignified; as, she was welcomed in the highest circles.
    He was a wight of high renown. Shak.
    (c) Of noble birth; illustrious; as, of high family. (d) Of great strength, force, importance, and the like; strong; mighty; powerful; violent; sometimes, triumphant; victorious; majestic, etc.; as, a high wind; high passions. "With rather a high manner." Thackeray.
    Strong is thy hand, and high is thy right hand. Ps. lxxxix. 13.
    Can heavenly minds such high resentment show? Dryden.
    (e) Very abstract; difficult to comprehend or surmount; grand; noble.
    Both meet to hear and answer such high things. Shak.
    Plain living and high thinking are no more. Wordsworth.
    (f) Costly; dear in price; extravagant; as, to hold goods at a high price.
    If they must be good at so high a rate, they know they may be safe at a cheaper. South.
    (g) Arrogant; lofty; boastful; proud; ostentatious; -- used in a bad sense.
    An high look and a proud heart . . . is sin. Prov. xxi. 4.
    His forces, after all the high discourses, amounted really but to eighteen hundred foot. Clarendon.
  3. Possessing a characteristic quality in a supreme or superior degree; as, high (i. e., intense) heat; high (i. e., full or quite) noon; high (i. e., rich or spicy) seasoning; high (i. e., complete) pleasure; high (i. e., deep or vivid) color; high (i. e., extensive, thorough) scholarship, etc.
    High time it is this war now ended were. Spenser.
    High sauces and spices are fetched from the Indies. Baker.
  4. (Cookery) Strong-scented; slightly tainted; as, epicures do not cook game before it is high.
  5. (Mus.) Acute or sharp; -- opposed to grave or low; as, a high note.
  6. (Phon.) Made with a high position of some part of the tongue in relation to the palate, as e (eve), &oomac; (f&oomac;d). See Guide to Pronunciation, §§ 10, 11. Syn. -- Tall; lofty; elevated; noble; exalted; supercilious; proud; violent; full; dear. See Tall.
High adverb
  1. In a high manner; in a high place; to a great altitude; to a great degree; largely; in a superior manner; eminently; powerfully. "And reasoned high." Milton. "I can not reach so high." Shak. High is extensively used in the formation of compound words, most of which are of very obvious signification; as, high-aimed, high-arched, high-aspiring, high-bearing, high-boasting, high-browed, high-crested, high-crowned, high-designing, high-engendered, high-feeding, high-flaming, high-flavored, high-gazing, high-heaped, high-heeled, high-priced, high-reared, high-resolved, high-rigged, high-seated, high-shouldered, high-soaring, high-towering, high-voiced, and the like.
High noun
  1. An elevated place; a superior region; a height; the sky; heaven.
  2. People of rank or high station; as, high and low.
  3. (Card Playing) The highest card dealt or drawn.
High intransitive verb
  1. To rise; as, the sun higheth. Obs.

Webster 1913