adjective, high·er, high·est.

adverb, high·er, high·est.



    fly high, to be full of hope or elation: His stories began to sell, and he was flying high.
    high and dry,
    1. (of a ship) grounded so as to be entirely above water at low tide.
    2. in a deprived or distressing situation; deserted; stranded: We missed the last bus and were left high and dry.
    high and low, in every possible place; everywhere: The missing jewelry was never found, though we searched high and low for it.
    high on, Informal. enthusiastic or optimistic about; having a favorable attitude toward or opinion of.
    on high,
    1. at or to a height; above.
    2. in heaven.
    3. having a high position, as one who makes important decisions: the powers on high.

Origin of high

before 900; Middle English heigh, variant of hegh, hey, heh, Old English hēah, hēh; cognate with Dutch hoog, Old High German hoh (German hoch), Old Norse hār, Swedish hög, Gothic hauhs, Lithuanian kaũkas swelling, kaukarà hill
Related formso·ver·high, adjectiveo·ver·high·ly, adverb
Can be confusedhi hie high (see synonym study at the current entry)higher hire

Synonyms for high

1. High, lofty, tall, towering refer to something that has considerable height. High is a general term, and denotes either extension upward or position at a considerable height: six feet high; a high shelf. Lofty denotes imposing or even inspiring height: lofty crags. Tall is applied either to something that is high in proportion to its breadth, or to anything higher than the average of its kind: a tall tree, building. Towering is applied to something that rises to a great or conspicuous height as compared with something else: a towering mountain. 6. elevated, eminent, prominent, distinguished. 12. capital.

Antonyms for high

1. low.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for high on



being a relatively great distance from top to bottom; talla high building
situated at or extending to a relatively great distance above the ground or above sea levela high plateau
  1. (postpositive)being a specified distance from top to bottomthree feet high
  2. (in combination)a seven-foot-high wall
extending from an elevationa high dive
(in combination) coming up to a specified levelknee-high
being at its peak or point of culminationhigh noon
of greater than average heighta high collar
greater than normal in degree, intensity, or amounthigh prices; a high temperature; a high wind
of large or relatively large numerical valuehigh frequency; high voltage; high mileage
(of sound) acute in pitch; having a high frequency
(of latitudes) situated relatively far north or south from the equator
(of meat) slightly decomposed or tainted, regarded as enhancing the flavour of game
of great eminence; very importantthe high priestess
exalted in style or character; elevatedhigh drama
expressing or feeling contempt or arrogancehigh words
elated; cheerfulhigh spirits
(predicative) informal overexcitedby the end of term the children are really high
informal being in a state of altered consciousness, characterized esp by euphoria and often induced by the use of alcohol, narcotics, etc
luxurious or extravaganthigh life
advanced in complexity or developmenthigh finance
(of a gear) providing a relatively great forward speed for a given engine speedCompare low 1 (def. 21)
phonetics of, relating to, or denoting a vowel whose articulation is produced by raising the back of the tongue towards the soft palate or the blade towards the hard palate, such as for the ee in English see or oo in English moonCompare low 1 (def. 20)
(capital when part of name) formal and elaborate in styleHigh Mass
(usually capital) of or relating to the High Church
remote, esp in time
  1. having a relatively great value in a suit
  2. able to win a trick
high and dry stranded; helpless; destitute
high and low in all places; everywhere
high and mighty informal arrogant
high as a kite informal
  1. very drunk
  2. overexcited
  3. euphoric from drugs
high opinion a favourable opinion


at or to a heighthe jumped high
in a high manner
nautical close to the wind with sails full


a high place or level
informal a state of altered consciousness, often induced by alcohol, narcotics, etc
another word for anticyclone
short for high school
(capital) (esp in Oxford) the High Street
electronics the voltage level in a logic circuit corresponding to logical oneCompare low 1 (def. 30)
on high
  1. at a height
  2. in heaven

Word Origin for high

Old English hēah; related to Old Norse hār, Gothic hauhs, Old High German hōh high, Lithuanian kaũkas bump, Russian kúchča heap, Sanskrit kuča bosom
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

Word Origin and History for high on



Old English heh (Anglian), heah (West Saxon) "of great height, lofty, tall, exalted, high-class," from Proto-Germanic *haukhaz (cf. Old Saxon hoh, Old Norse har, Danish høi, Swedish hög, Old Frisian hach, Dutch hoog, Old High German hoh, German hoch, Gothic hauhs "high;" also German Hügel "hill," Old Norse haugr "mound"), perhaps related to Lithuanian kaukara "hill." Spelling with -gh represents a final guttural sound in the original word, lost since 14c.

Of sound pitch, late 14c. Of roads, "most frequented or important," c.1200. Meaning "euphoric or exhilarated from alcohol" is first attested 1620s, of drugs, 1932. Sense of "proud, haughty, arrogant, supercilious" (c.1200) is reflected in high hand (late 14c.) and high horse. High seas first attested late 14c., with sense (also found in the Latin cognate) of "deep" as well as "tall" (cf. Old English heahflod "deep water," also Old Persian baršan "height, depth"). Of an evil or a punishment, "grave, serious, severe" (e.g. high treason), c.1200 (Old English had heahsynn "deadly sin, crime").

High pressure (adj.) is from 1824, of engines, 1891, of weather systems, 1933, of sales pitches. A child's high chair is from 1848. High school "school for advanced studies" attested from late 15c. in Scotland; by 1824 in U.S. High time "fully time, the fullness of time," is from late 14c. High noon is from early 14c.; the sense is "full, total, complete." High and mighty is c.1200 (heh i mahhte). High finance (1905) is that concerned with large sums. High and dry of beached things (especially ships) is from 1783. High-water mark is what is left by a flood or highest tide (1550s); figurative use by 1814.



early 14c., "high point, top," from high (adj.). As "area of high barometric pressure," from 1878. As "highest recorded temperature" from 1926. Meaning "state of euphoria" is from 1953.



"thought, understanding," obsolete from 13c. in English and also lost in Modern German, but once an important Germanic word, Old English hyge, cognate with Old Saxon hugi, Old High German hugi, Old Norse hygr, Swedish hög, Danish hu.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with high on

high on


Under the influence of alcohol or a drug. For example, I think he got high on marijuana before he came to the party. [c. 1930]


Very enthusiastic about, as in They were high on video games. [1940s]


In addition to the idioms beginning with high

  • high and dry
  • high and low
  • high and mighty
  • high as a kite
  • high gear
  • high hopes
  • high horse
  • high jinks
  • high off the hog, eat
  • high on
  • high places, friends in
  • high seas
  • high sign
  • high time

also see:

  • blow sky-high
  • fly high
  • friend in court (high places)
  • hell or high water
  • hit the high spots (points)
  • hold one's head high
  • in high dudgeon
  • knee-high to a grasshopper
  • on high
  • on one's high horse
  • ride high
  • run high
  • stink to high heaven
  • think a lot (highly) of
  • turn on (get high)
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.