high-main·​te·​nance ˈhī-ˈmānt-nən(t)s How to pronounce high-maintenance (audio)
: requiring a large amount of care or maintenance
The high-maintenance "Dracula" orchid constantly needs high levels of humidity and cooler temperatures.Victoria Colliver
They can't even afford the high-maintenance hairdos, let alone the Adidas sweats.Gerri Hirshey
of a person : tending to cause problems or demand attention : extremely sensitive, demanding, or temperamental
Playing the victim gets you absolutely nowhere, and it only makes you seem tiring and high-maintenance to your boss.Cosmopolitan
Matthäus is the greatest German sweeper since Beckenbauer, but he's high-maintenance. At various times in his career, he has accused a ref of taking bribes, scrapped with a teammate and, three years ago, ripped his universally beloved German teammate Jürgen Klinsmann in a tell-all book.Jeff Bradley

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web So the studios are in the financial squeeze of — the linear business (old-fashioned cable TV and ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox, et al) is shrinking but still provides more profit than streamers, which are like petulant children — always hungry, high-maintenance and always in search of the shiny new toy. Cynthia Littleton, Variety, 15 May 2023 The beautiful, delicate flowers are high-maintenance and need a bit of attention. Michelle Love, Better Homes & Gardens, 15 May 2023 Her one friend was a very high-maintenance stranger (to me) who now shows up on all of my photos from our vacation to Yosemite. Amy Dickinson, Chicago Tribune, 6 May 2023 One friend was a very high-maintenance stranger (to me) who now shows up on all of my photos from our vacation to Yosemite. Amy Dickinson, Washington Post, 6 May 2023 On the other hand, silverware has a classic look and feel but is more costly and high-maintenance. Nafeesah Allen, Better Homes & Gardens, 5 May 2023 Naturally, this doesn’t fly with his high-maintenance superior, who has grand plans for world domination. Brian Truitt, USA TODAY, 12 Apr. 2023 This set is machine washable — no high-maintenance care instructions. Lexie Sachs, Good Housekeeping, 14 Mar. 2023 Keep in Mind: Linen can be a high-maintenance fabric. Rena Behar, Better Homes & Gardens, 28 Feb. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'high-maintenance.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1916, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of high-maintenance was in 1916

Dictionary Entries Near high-maintenance

Cite this Entry

“High-maintenance.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/high-maintenance. Accessed 29 May. 2023.

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