adjective, high·er, high·est.
- acute in pitch.
- a little sharp, or above the desired pitch.
- chief; principal; main: the high altar of a church.
- High Church.
- having greater value than other denominations or suits.
- able to take a trick; being a winning card.
- being or having a winning combination: Whose hand is high?
adverb, high·er, high·est.
- a euphoric state induced by alcohol, drugs, etc.
- a period of sustained excitement, exhilaration, or the like: After winning the lottery he was on a high for weeks.
- (of a ship) grounded so as to be entirely above water at low tide.
- in a deprived or distressing situation; deserted; stranded: We missed the last bus and were left high and dry.
- at or to a height; above.
- in heaven.
- having a high position, as one who makes important decisions: the powers on high.
Origin of high
Synonyms for high
Antonyms for high
- (postpositive)being a specified distance from top to bottomthree feet high
- (in combination)a seven-foot-high wall
- having a relatively great value in a suit
- able to win a trick
- very drunk
- euphoric from drugs
- at a height
- in heaven
Word Origin for high
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.
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
- 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)