• High


    • enPR: , IPA: /haɪ/
    • Rhymes: -aɪ
    • Homophones: hi, hie

    Origin 1

    From Middle English hiȝe, huȝe, huiȝe, huie, hige, from Old English hyġe ("thought, mind, heart, disposition, intention, courage, pride"), from Proto-Germanic *hugiz ("mind, sense"), of unknown origin. Cognate with North Frisian huwggje ("mind, sense"), Middle Low German höge, hoge ("thought, meaning, mood, happiness"), Middle High German hüge, huge, hoge ("mind, spirit, memory"), Danish hu ("mind"), Swedish håg ("mind, inclination"), Icelandic hugur ("mind"). Related to Hugh.

    Full definition of high



    (plural highs)
    1. (obsolete) Thought; intention; determination; purpose.

    Origin 2

    From Middle English high, heigh, heih, from Old English hēah ("high, tall, lofty, high-class, exalted, sublime, illustrious, important, proud, haughty, deep, right"), from Proto-Germanic *hauhaz ("high"), from Proto-Indo-European *kewk- ("to bend, curve, arch, vault"), a suffixed form of *kew-. Cognate with Scots heich ("high"), Eastern Frisian hag ("high"), West Frisian heech ("high"), Dutch hoog ("high"), Low German hog ("high"), German hoch ("high"), Swedish hög ("high"), Icelandic hár ("high"), Lithuanian kaukas ("bump, boil, sore"), Russian куча (kúcha, "pile, heap, stack, lump").

    Alternative forms

    • hi informal



    1. Elevated in position or status; above many things.
      The balloon rose high in the sky.
      • 1913, Joseph C. Lincoln, Mr. Pratt's Patients Chapter 4, I told him about everything I could think of; and what I couldn't think of he did. He asked about six questions during my yarn, but every question had a point to it. At the end he bowed and thanked me once more. As a thanker he was main-truck high; I never see anybody so polite.
      • 1922, Ben Travers, A Cuckoo in the Nest Chapter 1, She was like a Beardsley Salome, he had said. And indeed she had the narrow eyes and the high cheekbone of that creature, and as nearly the sinuosity as is compatible with human symmetry. His wooing had been brief but incisive.
    2. Tall, lofty, at a great distance above the ground at high altitude.
      • 2013-06-07, David Simpson, Fantasy of navigation, Like most human activities, ballooning has sponsored heroes and hucksters and a good deal in between. For every dedicated scientist patiently recording atmospheric pressure and wind speed while shivering at high altitudes, there is a carnival barker with a bevy of pretty girls willing to dangle from a basket or parachute down to earth.
    3. (figuratively) Noble, especially of motives, intentions, etc.
    4. (slang) Under the influence of a mood-affecting drug, especially marijuana, or (less common) alcohol.
    5. Of a quantity or value, great or large.
      My bank charges me a high interest rate.
      • 2013, Fenella Saunders, Tiny Lenses See the Big Picture, The single-imaging optic of the mammalian eye offers some distinct visual advantages. Such lenses can take in photons from a wide range of angles, increasing light sensitivity. They also have high spatial resolution, resolving incoming images in minute detail.
    6. (acoustics) Of greater frequency, i.e. with more rapid wave oscillations.
      The note was too high for her to sing.
    7. (of a body of water) With tall waves.
    8. (of meat, especially venison) Strong-scented; slightly tainted/spoiled; beginning to decompose.Epicures do not cook game before it is high.
      The tailor liked his meat high.
    9. Of great strength, force, importance, etc.; mighty; powerful; sometimes, triumphant; victorious; majestic, etc.a high wind; high passions
      • Bible, Psalms lxxxix. 13Strong is thy hand, and high is thy right hand.
      • DrydenCan heavenly minds such high resentment show?
      • Thackeraywith rather a high manner
    10. Arrogant; lofty; boastful; proud.
      • Bible, Proverbs xxi. 4An high look and a proud heart ... is sin.
      • ClarendonHis forces, after all the high discourses, amounted really but to eighteen hundred foot.
    11. Very abstract; difficult to comprehend or surmount.
      • Shakespeareto hear and answer such high things
      • WordsworthPlain living and high thinking are no more.
    12. (phonetics) Made with a high position of some part of the tongue in relation to the palate.
    13. Possessing a characteristic quality in a supreme or superior degree.high (i.e. intense) heat; high (i.e. full or quite) noon; high (i.e. rich or spicy) seasoning; high (i.e. complete) pleasure; high (i.e. deep or vivid) colour; high (i.e. extensive, thorough) scholarship
      • SpenserHigh time it is this war now ended were.
      • BakerHigh sauces and spices are fetched from the Indies.




    1. In or to an elevated position.How high above land did you fly?
    2. In or at a great value.Costs have grown higher this year again.
    3. In a pitch of great frequency.I certainly can't sing that high.

    Usage notes

    The adverb high and the adverb highly shouldn't be confused.

    He hung the picture high on the wall.

    ''As a politician, he isn't esteemed too highly.



    (plural highs)
    1. A period of euphoria, from excitement or from an intake of drugs.
      • 2013, Daniel Taylor, Chelsea's Branislav Ivanovic climbs highest to sink Benfica (in The Guardian, 15 May 2013)http://www.guardian.co.uk/football/2013/may/15/benfica-chelsea-europa-leagueThey will have to reflect on a seventh successive defeat in a European final while Chelsea try to make sense of an eccentric season rife with controversy and bad feeling but once again one finishing on an exhilarating high.
    2. That pill gave me a high for a few hours, before I had a comedown.
    3. A drug that gives such a high.
      • 2013-08-10, A new prescription, No sooner has a synthetic drug been blacklisted than chemists adjust their recipe and start churning out a subtly different one. These “legal highs” are sold for the few months it takes the authorities to identify and ban them, and then the cycle begins again.
    4. (informal) A large area of elevated atmospheric pressure; an anticyclone.
    5. The maximum atmospheric temperature recorded at a particular location, especially during one 24-hour period.
    6. An elevated place; a superior region; a height; the sky; heaven.
    7. (card games) The highest card dealt or drawn.


    1. (obsolete) To rise.The sun higheth.

    Origin 3

    See hie.


    1. To hie; to hasten.
      • HollandMen must high them apace, and make haste.
    © Wiktionary