run high

Be intense, as in Feelings are running high on the issue of raising taxes. This expression, first recorded in 1711, transfers the strong currents or tides that make for high waves to human concerns.

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.