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[hahy-struhng] /ˈhaɪˈstrʌŋ/
at great tension; highly excitable or nervous; edgy:
high-strung nerves; a high-strung person.
Origin of high-strung
First recorded in 1740-50
tense, temperamental; jumpy, edgy, jittery, uptight. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for high-strung
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • We never could get along together at all, because he is so high-strung and overbearing.

    The Little Colonel Annie Fellows Johnston
  • Though still slight of build I was wiry, high-strung and quick of movement.

    The Harbor Ernest Poole
  • It was eloquent, vibrating with eloquence, but too high-strung, I think.

    Heart of Darkness Joseph Conrad
  • Starbright was right in saying Dade Morgan was proud and high-strung.

    Frank Merriwell's Pursuit Burt L. Standish
  • The high-strung gaiety, the drinking, the overtranking, the relaxation of mores.

    Mercenary Dallas McCord Reynolds
  • My nerves are all high-strung with the turn matters have taken.

    The Ghost William. D. O'Connor
  • Swimming is good, particularly for nervous, high-strung persons.

    The Woman Beautiful Helen Follett Stevans
  • Everyone had expected so high-strung a creature to be “half-wild with nerves.”

    The Squirrel-Cage Dorothy Canfield
Word Origin and History for high-strung

also high strung, 1848 in the figurative sense, from high (adj.) + strung. Originally a musical term, with reference to stringed instruments, where it is attested from 1748.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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