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high-water mark

[hahy-waw-ter, -wot-er] /ˈhaɪˈwɔ tər, -ˈwɒt ər/
a mark showing the highest level reached by a body of water.
the highest point of anything; acme:
Her speech was the high-water mark of the conference.
Origin of high-water mark
First recorded in 1545-55 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for high-water mark
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • That is our present high-water mark, and with our high-water mark we must learn to be satisfied.

  • It indicates the high-water mark of Shakespearean scholarship.

  • But that festival seemed the high-water mark of her happiness.

    Elsie Marley, Honey

    Joslyn Gray
  • "Say he is dull," put in Alphonse, whose gaiety was at high-water mark.


    Henry Seton Merriman
  • The year 550 was the high-water mark of the success of the Gothic arms.

    Theodoric the Goth Thomas Hodgkin
British Dictionary definitions for high-water mark

high-water mark

  1. the level reached by sea water at high tide or by other stretches of water in flood
  2. the mark indicating this level
the highest point
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Idioms and Phrases with high-water mark

high-water mark

The peak of something, especially an achievement. For example, This composition is the high-water mark of his entire output. This expression alludes to the highest mark left on shore by the tide. [ Mid-1800s ]
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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