: having an extremely nervous or sensitive temperament

Examples of high-strung in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Wood played many characters who were true-blue reliable, and others who were high-strung and neurotic. Tim Gray, Variety, 20 July 2023 During a high-profile, two-day NATO summit in Lithuania, intense wrangling that diplomats generally prefer to keep behind closed doors instead spilled into public view, revealing a relationship between Kyiv and Western capitals that can be high-strung, emotionally fraught and occasionally messy. Yuliya Talmazan, NBC News, 12 July 2023 Certain warning lights might come uninvited, as modern supercars are notoriously high-strung and finicky. Basem Wasef, Robb Report, 7 July 2023 In the piece, Licht talked about how some of CNN's COVID coverage had been high-strung and lost touch with the country, a criticism that angered many in the newsroom. David Bauder, ajc, 7 June 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'high-strung.' 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

1868, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of high-strung was in 1868

Dictionary Entries Near high-strung

Cite this Entry

“High-strung.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/high-strung. Accessed 2 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition


: very nervous or sensitive
a dog too high-strung for children

Medical Definition


: having an extremely nervous or sensitive temperament

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