American English

Definition of high adjective from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



    (higher, highest)
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    from bottom to top
  1. 1measuring a long distance from the bottom to the top What's the highest mountain in the U.S? The house has a high wall all the way around it. shoes with high heels He has a round face with a high forehead. opposite low
  2. 2used to talk about the distance that something measures from the bottom to the top How high is Everest? It's only a low wall—about a yard high. The grass was waist-high. knee-high boots
  3. far above ground
  4. 3at a level that is a long way above the ground or above the level of the ocean a high branch/shelf/window The rooms had high ceilings. streaks of high cloud They were flying at high altitude. the grasslands of the high prairies opposite low
  5. greater than normal
  6. 4greater or better than normal in quantity or quality, size, or degree a high temperature/speed/price a high rate of inflation Demand is high at this time of year. a high level of pollution a high standard of craftsmanship high-quality goods a high risk of injury Ahigh degree of accuracy is needed. The tree blew over in the high winds. We had high hopes for the business (= we believed it would be successful). A high proportion of our staff is female. The cost in terms of human life was high. compare low
  7. containing a lot
  8. 5high (in something) containing a lot of a particular substance opposite low foods which are high in fat a high potassium content a high-fat diet
  9. rank/status
  10. 6(usually before noun) near the top in rank or status She has held high office under three presidents. He has friends in high places (= among people of power and influence). opposite low
  11. valuable
  12. 7of great value to play for high stakes My highest card is ten.
  13. ideals/principles
  14. 8(usually before noun) morally good a man of high ideals/principles
  15. approving
  16. 9(usually before noun) showing a lot of approval or respect for someone She is held in very high regard by her colleagues. You seem to have a high opinion of yourself! opposite low
  17. sound
  18. 10at the upper end of the range of sounds that humans can hear; not deep or low She has a high voice. That note is definitely too high for me. opposite low
  19. of period of time
  20. 11[only before noun] used to describe the middle or the most attractive part of a period of time high noon high summer
  21. on alcohol/drugs
  22. 12[not before noun] high (on something) (informal) behaving in an excited way because of the effects of alcohol or drugs
  23. phonetics
  24. 13(phonetics) = close1
  25. Which Word?high / tall High is used to talk about the measurement from the bottom to the top of something:The fence is over five feet high. He has climbed some of the world’s highest mountains.You also use high to describe the distance of something from the ground:How high (up) was the plane when the engine failed? Tall is used instead of high to talk about people:My brother’s much taller than me.Tall is also used for things that are high and narrow, such as trees:She ordered cold beer in a tall glass. tall factory chimneys.Buildings can be high but they are much more frequently tall.Word Familyhigh adjective noun adverbhighly adverbheight nounheighten verbhigh adjective noun adverbhighly adverbheight nounheighten verbIdioms
    be/get on your high horse (informal)
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    to behave in a way that shows you think you are better than other people
    get off your high horse (informal)
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    to stop behaving in a way that shows you think you are better than other people
    have a high old time (old-fashioned) (informal)
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    to enjoy yourself very much
    (come) hell or high water
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    despite any difficulties I was determined to go, come hell or high water.
      high and dry
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    1. 1(of a boat, etc.) in a position out of the water Their yacht was left high and dry on a sandbank.
    2. 2in a difficult situation, without help or money
    high and mighty (informal)
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    behaving as though you think you are more important than other people
    high as a kite (informal)
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    behaving in a very excited way because of being strongly affected by alcohol or drugs
    a high/low profile
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    the amount of attention someone or something has from the public This issue has had a high profile in recent months. I advised her to keep a low profile for the next few days (= not to attract attention).
    in high dudgeon (old-fashioned) (formal)
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    in an angry or offended mood, and showing other people that you are angry He stomped out of the room in high dudgeon. She stormed off in high dudgeon.
    it's about/high time (informal)
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    used to say that you think someone should do something soon It's time you cleaned your room!
    of a high order, of the highest/first order
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    of a high quality or degree; of the highest quality or greatest degree The job requires diplomatic skills of a high order. She was a snob of the first order.
      smell, stink, etc. to high heaven (informal)
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    1. 1to have a strong unpleasant smell
    2. 2to seem to be very dishonest or morally unacceptable
    take, claim, seize, etc. the moral high ground
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    to claim that your side of an argument is morally better than your opponent's side; to argue in a way that makes your side seem morally better
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: high