high ( higher comparative) ( highest superlative) ( highs plural )
1 adj Something that is high extends a long way from the bottom to the top when it is upright. You do not use high to describe people, animals, or plants., (Antonym: low)
...a house, with a high wall all around it..., Mount Marcy is the highest mountain in the Adirondacks., ...high-heeled shoes..., The gate was too high for a man of his age to climb.
High is also an adverb., adv ADV after v
...wagons packed high with bureaus, bedding, and cooking pots.
2 adj You use high to talk or ask about how much something upright measures from the bottom to the top.
amount ADJ, n ADJ, how ADJ, as ADJ as, ADJ-compar than
...an elegant bronze horse only nine inches high..., Measure your garage: how high is the door?
3 adj If something is high, it is a long way above the ground, above sea level, or above a person or thing.
oft ADJ prep (Antonym: low)
I looked down from the high window..., In Castel Molo, high above Taormina, you can sample the famous almond wine made there.
High is also an adverb., adv ADV after v
...being able to run faster or jump higher than other people. If something is high up, it is a long way above the ground, above sea level, or above a person or thing.
high up phrase oft PHR prep
We saw three birds circling very high up.
4 adj You can use high to indicate that something is great in amount, degree, or intensity., (Antonym: low)
The European country with the highest birth rate is Ireland..., Official reports said casualties were high..., Commercialisation has given many sports a higher profile.
High is also an adverb., adv ADV after v
He expects the unemployment figures to rise even higher in coming months. You can use phrases such as `in the high 80s' to indicate that a number or level is, for example, more than 85 but not as much as 90.
the high 70s/80s/90s phrase
5 adj If a food or other substance is high in a particular ingredient, it contains a large amount of that ingredient.
v-link ADJ in n (Antonym: low)
Don't indulge in rich sauces, fried food and thick pastry as these are high in fat.
6 n-count If something reaches a highof a particular amount or degree, that is the greatest it has ever been.
oft N of amount (Antonym: low)
Traffic from Jordan to Iraq is down to a dozen loaded lorries a day, compared with a high of 200 a day..., Sales of Russian vodka have reached an all-time high.
7 adj If you say that something is a high priority or is highon your list, you mean that you consider it to be one of the most important things you have to do or deal with.
oft ADJ on n (Antonym: low)
The Labour Party has not made the issue a high priority..., Economic reform is high on the agenda.
8 adj Someone who is highin a particular profession or society, or has a high position, has a very important position and has great authority and influence.
v-link ADJ in n, ADJ n
Was there anyone particularly high in the administration who was an advocate of a different policy?..., ...corruption in high places. Someone who is high upin a profession or society has a very important position.
high up phrase oft PHR in n
His cousin is somebody quite high up in the navy...
9 adj You can use high to describe something that is advanced or complex.
Neither Anna nor I are interested in high finance.
10 adv If you aim high, you try to obtain or to achieve the best that you can.
ADV after v
You should not be afraid to aim high in the quest for an improvement in your income...
11 adj If someone has a high reputation, or people have a high opinion of them, people think they are very good in some way, for example at their work., (Antonym: low)
She has always had a high reputation for her excellent short stories..., People have such high expectations of you.
12 adj If the quality or standard of something is high, it is very good indeed.
His team were of the highest calibre...
13 adj If someone has high principles, they are morally good.
usu ADJ n
He was a man of the highest principles.
14 adj A high sound or voice is close to the top of a particular range of notes., (Antonym: low)
Her high voice really irritated Maria.
15 adj When a river is high, it contains much more water than usual., (Antonym: low)
The waters of the Yangtze River are dangerously high for the time of year.
16 adj If your spirits are high, you feel happy and excited., (Antonym: low)
Her spirits were high with the hope of seeing Nick in minutes rather than hours.
17 adj If someone is highon drink or drugs, they are affected by the alcoholic drink or drugs they have taken.
INFORMAL v-link ADJ, usu ADJ on n
He was too high on drugs and alcohol to remember them.
18 n-count A high is a feeling or mood of great excitement or happiness.
19 If you say that something came from on high, you mean that it came from a person or place of great authority.
on high phrase usu from PHR
Orders had come from on high that extra care was to be taken during this week.
20 If you say that you were left high and dry, you are emphasizing that you were left in a difficult situation and were unable to do anything about it.
be left high and dry phrase PHR after v, v-link PHR (emphasis)
Schools with better reputations will be flooded with applications while poorer schools will be left high and dry.
21 If you refer to the highs and lowsof someone's life or career, you are referring to both the successful or happy times, and the unsuccessful or bad times.
highs and lows phrase oft PHR of n
22 If you say that you looked high and low for something, you are emphasizing that you looked for it in every place that you could think of.
look high and low phrase PHR after v (emphasis)
in high dudgeon →
come hell or high water →
to be high time →
-high combines with words such as `knee' or `shoulder' to indicate that someone or something reaches as high as the point that is mentioned. comb in adj
The grass was knee-high.
high and mighty
If you describe someone as high and mighty, you disapprove of them because they consider themselves to be very important and are confident that they are always right. adj
I think you're a bit too high and mighty yourself.
high chair ( high chairs plural ) , highchair A high chair is a chair with long legs for a small child to sit in while they are eating. n-count
If you describe something as high-class, you mean that it is of very good quality or of superior social status. adj usu ADJ n
...a high-class jeweller's.
high command ( high commands plural ) The high command is the group that consists of the most senior officers in a nation's armed forces. n-count-coll oft supp N
High Commission ( High Commissions plural ) A High Commission is the office where a High Commissioner and his or her staff work, or the group of officials who work there. n-count oft the adj N
High Commissioner ( High Commissioners plural )
1 n-count A High Commissioner is a senior representative who is sent by one Commonwealth country to live in another in order to work as an ambassador.
oft the adj N
2 n-count A High Commissioner is the head of an international commission.
usu N for n, supp N
...the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.
High Court ( High Courts plural ) In England and Wales, the High Court is a court of law which deals with very serious or important cases. n-count usu sing
High-end products, especially electronic products, are the most expensive of their kind. adj
...high-end personal computers and computer workstations.
high explosive ( high explosives plural ) High explosive is an extremely powerful explosive substance. n-var
high five ( high fives plural ) , high-five If you give someone a high five, you put your hand up and hit their open hand with yours, especially after a victory or as a greeting. n-count
High-flown language is very grand, formal, or literary. adj usu ADJ n (disapproval)
high-flyer ( high-flyers plural ) , high flyer, high-flier A high-flyer is someone who has a lot of ability and is likely to be very successful in their career. n-count
A high-flying person is successful or is likely to be successful in their career. adj usu ADJ n
...her high-flying newspaper-editor husband.
1 n-sing If a person or organization has the high ground in an argument or dispute, that person or organization has an advantage. (JOURNALISM) the N, oft the adj N
The President must seek to regain the high ground in the political debate...
2 If you say that someone has taken themoral high ground, you mean that they consider that their policies and actions are morally superior to the policies and actions of their rivals.
the moral high ground phrase PHR after v
The Republicans took the moral high ground with the message that they were best equipped to manage the authority...
If you say that someone is high-handed, you disapprove of them because they use their authority in an unnecessarily forceful way without considering other people's feelings. adj
He wants to be seen as less bossy and high-handed.
They have been accused of secrecy and high-handedness in their dealings.
High-heeled shoes are women's shoes that have high heels. adj ADJ n (Antonym: flat)
You can refer to high-heeled shoes as high heels. n-plural
1 adj High-impact exercise puts a lot of stress on your body.
usu ADJ n (Antonym: low-impact)
2 adj High-impact materials are very strong.
usu ADJ n
The durable high-impact plastic case is water resistant to 100 feet.
High jinks is lively, excited behaviour in which people do things for fun.
INFORMAL, OLD-FASHIONED n-uncount-coll
Thehigh jump is an athletics event which involves jumping over a raised bar. n-sing usu the N
You use thehigh life to refer to an exciting and luxurious way of living that involves a great deal of entertainment, going to parties, and eating good food. n-sing also no det
...the Hollywood high life...
high mass , High Mass
High mass is a church service held in a Catholic church in which there is more ceremony than in an ordinary mass. n-uncount
If you say that someone is high-minded, you think they have strong moral principles. adj
The President's hopes for the country were high-minded, but too vague...
1 n-uncount High noon means the same as noon.
2 n-uncount Journalists sometimes use high noon to refer to a crisis or event which is likely to decide finally what is going to happen in a conflict or situation.
usu with supp, oft N for/of n
It looks like high noon for the nation's movie theaters, now we are in the age of the home video.
You can use high-octane to emphasize that something is very exciting or intense. (JOURNALISM) adj ADJ n
...a high-octane performance.
A high-performance car or other product goes very fast or does a lot. adj ADJ n
...the thrill of taking an expensive high-performance car to its limits.
A high-pitched sound is shrill and high in pitch. adj
A woman squealed in a high-pitched voice.
high point ( high points plural ) Thehigh point of an event or period of time is the most exciting or enjoyable part of it. n-count usu with supp, oft N of/in n
The high point of this trip was a day at the races in Balgriffin.
1 adj A high-powered machine or piece of equipment is very powerful and efficient.
usu ADJ n
...high powered lasers.
2 adj Someone who is high-powered or has a high-powered job has a very important and responsible job which requires a lot of ability.
usu ADJ n
I had a very high-powered senior job in publishing.
high priest ( high priests plural ) If you call a man the high priestof a particular thing, you are saying in a slightly mocking way that he is considered by people to be expert in that thing. n-count usu N of n
...the high priest of cheap periodical fiction.
high priestess ( high priestesses plural ) If you call a woman the high priestessof a particular thing, you are saying in a slightly mocking way that she is considered by people to be expert in that thing. n-count usu N of n
...the American high priestess of wit.
A high-profile person or a high-profile event attracts a lot of attention or publicity. adj usu ADJ n
...the high-profile reception being given to Mr Arafat.
A high-ranking person has an important position in a particular organization. adj ADJ n
...a high-ranking officer in the medical corps.
high-rise ( high-rises plural ) High-rise buildings are modern buildings which are very tall and have many levels or floors. adj ADJ n
...high-rise office buildings.
A high-rise is a high-rise building., n-count
That big high-rise above us is where Brian lives.
1 n-count A high road is a main road.
(BRIT) usu sing
in AM, use highway
2 n-sing If you say that someone is taking thehigh road in a situation, you mean that they are taking the most positive and careful course of action.
(mainly AM) usu the N
US diplomats say the president is likely to take the high road in his statements about trade.
high-roller ( high-rollers plural ) , high roller High rollers are people who are very rich and who spend money in an extravagant or risky way, especially by gambling. (JOURNALISM) n-count
high school ( high schools plural )
1 n-var; n-in-names In Britain, a high school is a school for children aged between eleven and eighteen.
...Sunderland High School.
2 n-var; n-in-names In the United States, a high school is a school for children usually aged between fourteen and eighteen.
...an 18-year-old inner-city kid who dropped out of high school.
The high seas is used to refer to the sea.
LITERARY n-plural the N
...battles on the high seas.
The high season is the time of year when a place has most tourists or visitors.
(BRIT) n-sing also no det (Antonym: low season)
A typical high-season week in a chalet costs about £470.
You can use high society to refer to people who come from rich and important families. n-uncount
You can use high-sounding to describe language and ideas which seem very grand and important, especially when you think they are not really important. adj usu ADJ n (disapproval)
...high-sounding decrees designed to impress foreigners and attract foreign capital.
Someone who is high-spirited is very lively and easily excited. adj
high spot ( high spots plural ) The high spotof an event or activity is the most exciting or enjoyable part of it. n-count oft N of n
Rough weather would have denied us a landing on the island, for me the high spot of the entire cruise.
high street ( high streets plural )
1 n-count; n-in-names The high street of a town is the main street where most of the shops and banks are.
in AM, use Main Street
2 adj High street banks and businesses are companies which have branches in the main shopping areas of most towns.
(mainly BRIT) ADJ n
The scanners are available from high street stores.
High summer is the middle of summer. n-uncount
high tea ( high teas plural ) In Britain, some people have a meal called high tea in the late afternoon instead of having dinner or supper later in the evening.
high-tech , high tech, hi tech
High-tech activities or equipment involve or result from the use of high technology. adj usu ADJ n
...the latest high-tech medical gadgetry.
High technology is the practical use of advanced scientific research and knowledge, especially in relation to electronics and computers, and the development of new advanced machines and equipment. n-uncount
A high-tension electricity cable is one which is able to carry a very powerful current. adj ADJ n
At the coast, high tide is the time when the sea is at its highest level because the tide is in. n-uncount
(Antonym: low tide)
High treason is a very serious crime which involves putting your country or its head of state in danger. n-uncount
high-up ( high-ups plural )
1 n-count A high-up is an important person who has a lot of authority and influence.
in AM, use higher-up
High water is the time at which the water in a river or sea is at its highest level as a result of the tide. n-uncount
Fishing is possible for a couple of hours either side of high water.
come hell or high water
high-water mark , high water mark
1 n-sing The high-water mark is the level reached in a particular place by the sea at high tide or by a river in flood.
2 n-sing The high-water markof a process is its highest or most successful stage of achievement.
with supp, oft N of/for n
This was almost certainly the high-water mark of her career...
high wire ( high wires plural ) , high-wire
1 n-count A high wire is a length of rope or wire stretched tight high above the ground and used for balancing acts.
2 n-sing Journalists talk about a person being on a high wire or performing a high-wire act when he or she is dealing with a situation in which it would be easy to do the wrong thing.
oft N n
This year's Budget looks set to be a precarious high-wire act for the Chancellor.
junior high ( junior highs plural ) In the United States, junior high is the school that young people attend between the ages of 11 or 12 and 14 or 15. n-count; n-in-names
...Benjamin Franklin Junior High.
Something that is knee-high is as tall or high as an adult's knees. adj
A shoulder-high object is as high as your shoulders. adj usu ADJ n
...a shoulder-high hedge.
Shoulder-high is also an adverb., adv ADV after v
They picked up Oliver and carried him shoulder high into the garage.
If you say that prices or confidence are sky-high, you are emphasizing that they are at a very high level. adj
Christie said: `My confidence is sky high.', ...the effect of falling house prices and sky-high interest rates.
Sky high is also an adverb., adv ADV after v
Their prestige went sky high.