high

1 of 3

adjective

1
a
: rising or extending upward a great distance : taller than average, usual, or expected
a high wall
a high fly ball
b
: having a specified height or elevation : tall
six feet high
often used in combination
sky-high
waist-high
c
: situated or passing above the normal level, surface, base of measurement, or elevation
the high desert
2
a(1)
: advanced toward the acme or culmination
high summer
(2)
: advanced toward the most active or culminating period
on the Riviera during high season
(3)
: constituting the late, most fully developed, or most creative stage or period
high Gothic
(4)
: advanced in complexity, development, or elaboration
the higher primates including humans
higher mathematics
b
: verging on lateness
usually used in the phrase high time
It's high time he won an award.
c
: long past : remote
high antiquity
3
: elevated in pitch (see pitch entry 4 sense 4b(1))
a high note
4
: relatively far from the equator
high latitude
5
: rich in quality : luxurious
high living
6
: slightly tainted or spoiled
high game meat
also : malodorous
smelled rather high
7
: exalted or elevated in character : noble
high purposes
8
: of greater degree, amount, cost, value, or content than average, usual, or expected
high prices
high temperatures
high blood pressure
traveling at a high rate of speed
unemployment was high
9
: of relatively great importance: such as
a
: foremost in rank, dignity, or standing
high officials
b
: serious, grave
high crimes
c
: observed with the utmost solemnity
high religious observances
d
: critical, climactic
the high point of the novel
e
: intellectually or artistically of the first order or best quality
high culture
f
: marked by sublime, heroic, or stirring events or subject matter
high tragedy
a tale of high adventure
10
: forcible, strong
high winds
11
: stressing matters of doctrine and ceremony
specifically : high church
12
a
: filled with or expressing great joy or excitement
high spirits
b
: intoxicated by or as if by a drug or alcohol
high on cocaine
13
: articulated or pronounced with some part of the tongue close to the palate
a high vowel

high

2 of 3

adverb

1
: at or to a high place, altitude, level, or degree
climbed higher
passions ran high
2
: well, luxuriously
often used in the phrases high off the hog and high on the hog

high

3 of 3

noun

1
: an elevated place or region: such as
a
: hill, knoll
b
: the space overhead : sky
usually used with on
birds wheeling on high
c
: heaven
usually used with on
wisdom from on high
2
: a region where the pressure of the atmosphere is greater than normal : a region of high barometric pressure
a high moving out to the east

called also anticyclone

3
a
: a point or level of greater amount, number, or degree than average or expected : a high point or level
sales reached a new high
mostly sunny with highs in the 80s
the highs and lows of her career
b
: the transmission gear of a vehicle (such as an automobile) giving the greatest speed of travel
put it into high
4
a
: an excited, euphoric, or stupefied state produced by or as if by a drug
produces a high that lasts several hours
coming down from the high of their wedding day
b
: a state of elation or high spirits
the high of victory
Phrases
high on
: enthusiastically in approval or support of
party leaders high on a new candidate
Choose the Right Synonym for high

high, tall, lofty mean above the average in height.

high implies marked extension upward and is applied chiefly to things which rise from a base or foundation or are placed at a conspicuous height above a lower level.

a high hill
a high ceiling

tall applies to what grows or rises high by comparison with others of its kind and usually implies relative narrowness.

a tall thin man

lofty suggests great or imposing altitude.

lofty mountain peaks

Examples of high in a Sentence

Adjective The apartment has high ceilings. The airplane was high above the clouds. The bush is six feet high. a building 100 stories high They have a home in the high country. The houses are built on high ground. They reached speeds as high as 100 mph. He's being treated for high blood pressure. She earns a high salary. His books are in high demand. Adverb The painter climbed high on the ladder. The hawks were circling high in the air. The letters were stacked high on the table. buy low and sell high Noun Oil prices reached a new high last winter. The forecast is for showers with highs in the 70s. The high only lasted a few minutes. See More
Recent Examples on the Web
Adjective
Milwaukee's demand for housing remains high and several properties in the metro area hit the market for millions of dollars last month. Alex Groth, Journal Sentinel, 1 Mar. 2024 The popular strip’s dining establishments (especially in the South Beach area) tend to be high on price and low on quality. Chris Dong, Travel + Leisure, 29 Feb. 2024 An endocrinologist may ask patients to take a saliva or a blood test that measures their hormone levels before bed and again when waking up to see if their cortisol levels remain too high. Claire Bugos, Verywell Health, 29 Feb. 2024 And the cost of keeping people out of the park continues to be high: The university pays nearly $1 million a month to station private security guards outside the park, 24 hours a day. James Rainey, Los Angeles Times, 29 Feb. 2024 The low will be around 47 degrees, and gusts could be as high as 24 mph. Angela Rodriguez, Sacramento Bee, 29 Feb. 2024 Certain foods, including soft cheeses, deli meats, melons, and raw milk products, carry a higher risk of being contaminated with Listeria. Brian Mastroianni, Health, 29 Feb. 2024 The set launches behind only Noah Kahan’s Stick Season, which is up to the highest rung in the same period while the title track from the project rules the singles chart. Hugh McIntyre, Forbes, 17 Feb. 2024 Offering high salaries to military recruits, the Kremlin has managed to wage its invasion without resorting to a second military draft, meaning that most Russians have been able to go on with their daily lives. Anton Troianovski, New York Times, 17 Feb. 2024
Adverb
Winds roared to speeds of 265 mph high over Washington late Saturday — at about 35,000 feet above ground, cruising altitude for airplanes — as a powerful jet stream swept over the region. Jason Samenow, Washington Post, 18 Feb. 2024 The snow was falling off the cedar tree boughs high above us, there was a layer of mist all around, and the house was covered in white powder. Sarah Yang, Sunset Magazine, 14 Feb. 2024 Perched high above the bright lights of the Las Vegas strip, an estate with extremely unique — and insanely cool — presence has landed on the market in Henderson, Nevada, for $18.5 million. Tj MacIas, Sacramento Bee, 12 Feb. 2024 For a dozen eggs, ½ cup mayonnaise will make a smooth, creamy filling that can sit up high when spooned into the egg. Lisa Cericola, Southern Living, 5 Feb. 2024 The set arrived at its No. 6 high on Top Country Albums last May. Jim Asker, Billboard, 2 Feb. 2024 Bring to a boil over medium high; reduce heat to medium low, and simmer until potatoes are fork-tender, about 12 minutes. Sabrina Weiss, Peoplemag, 31 Jan. 2024 People use their fine flatware and want them more at arm’s reach, not stowed high away on a shelf in a musty box. Clare Miers, Fort Worth Star-Telegram, 31 Jan. 2024 Betty the Washerwoman, an animatronic woman working over a tub perched high above the restaurant’s sign. Michael Deeds, Idaho Statesman, 25 Jan. 2024
Noun
In this particular market, the short-term impact on freight costs has been very profound due to the supply/demand balance that has pushed the net profit of shipping companies to multi-year highs. Dennis Mitzner, Forbes, 19 Feb. 2024 Nail enthusiasts are familiar with the high that comes with romanticizing those fun designs and mixing and matching bright colors for the upcoming season, so why not indulge in those good feels now? Audrey Noble, Vogue, 16 Feb. 2024 Typically, the park is between 46 and 73 degrees, but record highs are in the upper 90s, and record lows have gotten down to 21 degrees. Evie Carrick, Travel + Leisure, 15 Feb. 2024 Confidence: Medium-High Sunshine dominates Monday and the cold air starts to pull away, allowing highs to climb to the upper 40s to lower 50s. David Streit, Washington Post, 15 Feb. 2024 That’s still double the Bank of England’s 2% target, but much lower than the record high of 11.1% hit in October 2022. Hanna Ziady, CNN, 15 Feb. 2024 The central bank's 11 rate hikes since then have helped bring down the annual inflation rate to 3.1% in January from a high of 9.1% in June 2022, but January's number was higher than economists had projected — and remains above the Fed's goal of driving inflation down to 2%. Aimee Picchi, CBS News, 14 Feb. 2024 Last season, winter storms likely pushed California to an all-time high, the Sacramento Bee reported. Daniella Segura, Sacramento Bee, 14 Feb. 2024 The city set a record high for homicides last year, with 185 recorded in 2023. Bill Lukitsch, Kansas City Star, 14 Feb. 2024 See More

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

Word History

Etymology

Adjective, Adverb, and Noun

Middle English, from Old English hēah; akin to Old High German hōh high, Lithuanian kaukaras hill

First Known Use

Adjective

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Adverb

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Noun

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of high was before the 12th century

Dictionary Entries Near high

Cite this Entry

“High.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/high. Accessed 3 Mar. 2024.

Kids Definition

high

1 of 3 adjective
1
a
: extending to a great distance upward : having greater height than average or usual
rooms with high ceilings
b
: having a specified elevation
six feet high
2
: advanced toward fullness
high summer
3
: shrill entry 2, sharp
high note
4
: far from the equator
high latitude
5
: noble entry 1 sense 5
a writer of high purpose
6
: of greater degree, size, amount, or content than average or ordinary
high pressure
high power of a microscope
7
: of relatively great importance: as
a
: first in rank or standing
high society
b
: serious sense 4, grave
high crimes
8
: strong sense 7
high winds
9
a
: showing joy or excitement
high spirits
b
: drunk entry 2 sense 1
also : affected or impaired by or as if by a drug
10
: advanced or complex in structure or development
higher mathematics
higher fungi

high

2 of 3 adverb
1
: at or to a high place, altitude, or degree
climbed high
2
: richly sense 1, luxuriously
living high

high

3 of 3 noun
1
b
: sky sense 1
watched the birds on high
c
: heaven sense 2
a judgment from on high
2
: a region of high barometric pressure : anticyclone
3
a
: a high point or level : height
prices reached a new high
b
: the arrangement of gears (as in an automobile) that gives the highest speed and consequently the highest speed of travel
4
: a state of good feeling, excitement, or intoxication produced by or as if by a drug

Medical Definition

high

1 of 2 adjective
1
: having a complex organization : greatly differentiated or developed phylogenetically
usually used in the comparative degree of advanced types of plants and animals
the higher algae
the higher apes
compare low
2
a
: exhibiting elation or euphoric excitement
a high patient
b
: being intoxicated
also : excited or stupefied by or as if by a drug (as marijuana or heroin)

high

2 of 2 noun
: an excited, euphoric, or stupefied state
especially : one produced by or as if by a drug (as heroin)

More from Merriam-Webster on high

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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