high·​land | \ ˈhī-lənd \

Definition of highland

 (Entry 1 of 3)

: elevated or mountainous land



Definition of highland (Entry 2 of 3)

1 : of or relating to a highland
2 capitalized : of or relating to the Highlands of Scotland


geographical name
High·​land | \ ˈhī-lənd \

Definition of Highland (Entry 3 of 3)

1 city in southeastern California east of San Bernardino population 53,104
2 town in northwestern Indiana south of Hammond population 23,727
3 administrative area of northern Scotland bordering the North Sea and the Atlantic area 9806 square miles (25,398 square kilometers), population 232,132

Keep scrolling for more

Synonyms & Antonyms for highland

Synonyms: Noun

altitude(s), elevation, eminence, height, hill, hump, mound, prominence, rise, upland

Antonyms: Noun


Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of highland in a Sentence


there are permanent glaciers in the cool, humid highlands of the Pacific Northwest

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Two big terms to know are highland and lowland, which don’t correspond to specific regions but rather the altitude at which the agave is grown. Max Falkowitz, GQ, "How to Buy Better Tequila That Won’t Give You Bad College Flashbacks," 3 May 2018 This mysterious little snake has essentially made a posthumous case for the preservation of the remote highlands of western Chiapas where it was found. Jill Kiedaisch, Popular Mechanics, "The Best Place to Find a Snake Is Inside a Different Snake," 21 Dec. 2018 Four Seasons Resort Lanai at Koele Located in the central highlands, this plantation-style lodge has an orchid house, stables, and an old church on its grounds, offering a blend of refinement and Hawaiian aloha spirit. Cnt Editors, Condé Nast Traveler, "The Best Resorts in Hawaii: 2018 Readers' Choice Awards," 9 Oct. 2018 Pierre Gedeon suggests an itinerary with a few nights first in Panama City (for the Casco Antiguo, the Biomuseo, the canal) and then the highlands (coffee plantation, hiking, indigenous tribes). Klara Glowczewska, Town & Country, "The Best Places to Travel in 2019," 7 Dec. 2018 And many migrants from the highlands of Guatemala, where several dialects are spoken, do not speak Spanish. Miriam Jordan, The Seattle Times, "More than 450 migrant parents may have been deported without their children," 24 July 2018 Hiking in Northern Vietnam: TrufflepigSpend three days trekking the highlands of Mai Chau, through cassava fields and past traditional villages, stopping to recharge at rustic ecolodges. Cnt Editors, Condé Nast Traveler, "Four Adventure Itineraries to Book in Southeast Asia," 14 Nov. 2018 With a slew of new businesses that could easily thrive on a popular Brooklyn street, and improvements to existing cultural institutions, Great Barrington has become one of the most popular destinations in the highlands of Massachusetts. Kaitlyn Wylde, Vogue, "What’s So Great About Great Barrington? A Weekend Guide to the Quietly Cool Berkshire Town," 25 Oct. 2018 If a small warming event melted ice from surrounding highlands, flows of groundwater toward the lakes would have been possible. Scott K. Johnson, Ars Technica, "The secret to Mars’ past warmth could be beneath Curiosity’s wheels," 9 Aug. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Chest heaving and eyes fluttering, the 3-year-old boy lay silently on a hospital ward in the highland town of Hajjah, a bag of bones fighting for breath. Declan Walsh, The Seattle Times, "The tragedy of Saudi Arabia’s war in Yemen," 26 Oct. 2018 Take a cinematic cruise down the long flat farm roads, cooing at highland cattle and relaxed quarter horses or stop to collect a local farmer’s bounty in exchange for a few dollars in the honor system jar. Kaitlyn Wylde, Vogue, "What’s So Great About Great Barrington? A Weekend Guide to the Quietly Cool Berkshire Town," 25 Oct. 2018 The holiday is filled with gorgeous Scottish vistas and highland balls, but the Flintshire household is a deeply unhappy one. Tom Fitzgerald And Lorenzo Marquez, Town & Country, "The 10 Best Downton Abbey Episodes," 12 Sep. 2018 The complex uniform was inspired by the highland dress worn while Greece was still in thrall to the Ottoman Turkish empire, although the authentic, long version of the kilt was probably pioneered by southern Albanian settlers allied with the Turks. Washington Post, "Godly giants in kilts: Meet Greece’s best-known soldiers," 24 May 2018 The central highland state of Guanajuato was predicted to go to a candidate of the conservative National Action Party. Washington Post, "Weary of violence, graft, Mexicans vote in historic election," 1 July 2018 Istok crater, in the southern highland planes of Mars's Aonia Terra, has not been studied by NASA's Curiosity or Opportunity rovers because both are much farther north. William Herkewitz, Popular Mechanics, "Study Says Mars Had a Lot of Water Just 500,000 Years Ago," 23 June 2015 About 10,000 people gather for the event, in which clansmen compete in various competitions, including bagpiping, drumming, highland dancing, athletics and sheep dog trials. Lisa Deaderick, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Top weekend events: Vans Warped Tour, San Diego International Fringe Festival, 'Avenue Q'," 22 June 2018 Westbrook has an impressive swath of open space along its western border nearly running unbroken from the northern highland border with Deep River south to the shores of Long Island Sound. Peter Marteka, courant.com, "A Visit To Westbrook's Horse Hill Woods," 17 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'highland.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of highland


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined above


15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about highland

Statistics for highland

Last Updated

6 Feb 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for highland

The first known use of highland was before the 12th century

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for highland



English Language Learners Definition of highland

: an area where there are many mountains or where the land is high above the level of the sea


high·​land | \ ˈhī-lənd \

Kids Definition of highland

: high or hilly country

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on highland

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with highland

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for highland

Britannica English: Translation of highland for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about highland

Comments on highland

What made you want to look up highland? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


esteemed in general opinion

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

What did you just call me?! A Quiz

  • rows-of-various-emoji
  • If a member of the audience describes your speech as bombastic, does that person mean it is:
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

Bee Cubed

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!