noting a gasoline with a relatively high octane number, characterized by high efficiency and freedom from knock.
Informal. forceful or intense; dynamic; high-powered: high-octane efforts to obliterate the competition.

Origin of high-octane

First recorded in 1930–35
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for high-octane

Contemporary Examples of high-octane

  • Paterson—the father of recent Governor David Paterson—was a high-octane lawyer who held a number of appointive positions.

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    Bill Lynch, the Culminator

    Michael Tomasky

    August 12, 2013

  • This episode illuminates the omnipresent peril the current president faces in having such a high-profile, high-octane frenemy.

  • The tight battle reflects the high-octane energy among GOP voters.

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    The Revolution Has Arrived

    Mark McKinnon

    September 14, 2010

  • For his role in the frustration of Obamacare, this Lieberman became the object of high-octane contempt.

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    Lay Off Joe

    Tunku Varadarajan

    December 16, 2009

  • You have described her as a “self-sufficient, high-octane machine.”

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    Maria's Race Against Time

    Lynn Sherr

    May 6, 2009

British Dictionary definitions for high-octane



(of petrol) having a high octane number
informal dynamic, forceful, or intensehigh-octane drive and efficiency
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