condescending or presumptuous; overbearing; arbitrary: He has a highhanded manner.

Origin of high-handed

First recorded in 1625–35
Related formshigh-hand·ed·ly, adverbhigh-hand·ed·ness, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for high-handed

Contemporary Examples of high-handed

Historical Examples of high-handed

  • But I'm damned if I understand this high-handed attitude of yours!

    The Black Bag

    Louis Joseph Vance

  • She had thought only of herself in dismissing him in that high-handed manner.

  • It was high-handed rascality, but I cannot connect it with Woodford.

    Dwellers in the Hills

    Melville Davisson Post

  • Dulcie was sulking, however, at Leslie's high-handed manner.

  • Ever since Eleanor's high-handed departure she had been undergoing a metamorphosis.


    Alice Hegan Rice

British Dictionary definitions for high-handed



tactlessly overbearing and inconsiderate
Derived Formshigh-handedly, adverbhigh-handedness, noun
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