1 FROM BOTTOM TO TOP something that is high measures a long distance from its bottom to its top: the highest mountain in Japan | a castle surrounded by high walls | 100 feet/30 metres etc high: a building 20 stories high | How high is the Eiffel tower? | a ten-foot high wall | chest/waist/knee etc high (=as high as your chest etc): The grass was knee-high.
2 ABOVE THE GROUND being a long way, or a longer way than usual, above the ground: a spacious room with a high ceiling | a high shelf | high in the sky | high up: High up among the clouds, we could just see the summit of Everest.
3 SEA/RIVER ETC having risen to a higher level than usual: The river was unusually high. | high tide
4 a high amount, number, or level is greater than normal: high blood pressure | high levels of radiation | high temperatures | high rent/price/tax etc: the high cost of insurance | at high speed (=very fast): A car was approaching at high speed. | high proportion/percentage (=a very large part of an amount): A high proportion of married women have part-time jobs.
5 CONTAINING A LOT containing a lot of a particular substance or quality: an alloy with a high carbon content | high in fat/sugar/salt etc: Beer is high in calories.
6 IN SOCIETY/ORGANIZATION having an important or powerful position in society or in an organization: the highest rank in the US Navy | the City's highest honour | high up (=in a powerful position): someone high up in in the civil service | high office: With men like Gould in high office, it was easy for the military to influence policy. | high society (=rich people of the highest social class)
—see also: high­up, high­ranking, have friends in high places friend (10)
7 be high on the list/agenda to be important and need to be dealt with quickly
8 near the top of the range of sounds that humans can hear: Dogs respond to sounds that are too high for the human ear.
—see also: high­pitched VERY GOOD
9 high quality/standard/calibre etc very good quality etc: high quality goods | a high standard of workmanship
10 high opinion/praise/regard etc strong approval, or an expression of strong approval: have a high opinion of: I have a high opinion of Miss Boyce's work. | hold sb/sth in high esteem/regard (=respect them very much): As an educationalist, he was held in high esteem.
11 high standards/principles rules of personal behaviour based on the belief that everyone should always be very good and honest: a man of high moral principles
12 have high hopes/expectations to hope for or expect very good results or great success: parents who have such high hopes for their children
13 high point/spot the best part of an activity or occasion: Our visit to the Grand Canyon was definitely the high point of our vacation.
14 (not before noun) behaving in an unusually excited way because of taking drugs
(+ on): They were high on cocaine. | get high (=take a drug to make yourself high) | high as a kite (=very high) HAPPY
15 high spirits feelings of happiness and energy, especially when you are having fun: I know the kids are a bit noisy but it's just high spirits. | in high spirits: It was a bright sunny day and we set off in high spirits.
16 HAPPY/EXCITED happy and excited
(+on): We were still high on our victory over the champions.
17 have a high old time old-fashioned to enjoy an occasion very much
18 be/get on your high horse to behave or talk as if you are better than other people
19 high and mighty talking or behaving as if you think you are more important than other people
20 it is high time used to mean that something should have been done already: It's high time you got a job and settled down.
21 FOOD cheese, meat etc that is high is not fresh and has a strong smell or taste
22 high wind a strong wind
23 high complexion/colouring a naturally pink or red face
24 high drama/adventure events or situations that are very exciting: a life with moments of high drama
25 TIME the middle or the most important part of a particular period of time: high summer | the high renaissance | high noon (=12 o'clock in the middle of the day)
—see also: high season
26 high life/living the enjoyable life that rich people and fashionable people have: the high life of a capital city
27 high finance the business of dealing with very large sums of money
28 high style/register the style of language used in literature
—see also: highly, in high dudgeon dudgeon, stink to high heaven stink 1 (1) USAGE NOTE: HIGH WORD CHOICE: high, higher, advanced, tall High (opposite low) is used of most things, especially when you are thinking only of how far something, or its top, is from the ground: a high shelf | a high mountain | The shelf's too high, I can't reach it. Many things you cannot touch may also be high: a high standard | a high degree of sophistication | high technology . However, with some words related to education higher (or advanced) must be used instead: higher education | advanced teaching/techniques | a higher degree/diploma (but do not confuse this with High School diploma etc). Tall (opposite short) is used for people and animals: Your son's getting tall, isn't he? Tall is also used for things that are high and narrow, especially when you are thinking of the complete distance from top to bottom: a tall building like the Sears Tower | a tall tree/column/vase/fridge/bottle 2 adverb
1 ABOVE THE GROUND at or to a level high above the ground
(+ into/above etc): Paula threw the ball high into the air. | flying high in the sky
2 VALUE/COST/AMOUNT at or to a high value, cost, amount etc: The dollar stayed high after a busy day on the foreign exchanges. | He scored higher than anyone else in the class.
3 SOUND with a high sound: boy's voices, ringing high above everyone else's
4 ACHIEVEMENT to a high rank or level of achievement, especially in an organization, business etc: Don't set your goals too low. You should always aim high.
5 be left high and dry informal to be left without any help or without the things that you need
6 look/search high and low to try to find someone or something by looking everywhere: We looked high and low for Sandy but couldn't find her.
7 hold your head high to behave in a proud confident way, especially in a difficult situation: You've kept the family together, I think you can hold your head high.
8 live high on the hog AmE informal to enjoy expensive food, clothes etc without worrying about the cost: They've been living high on the hog since Jim got the money from his aunt.
—see also: be riding high ride 1 (7), be running high run 1 (28) 3 noun (C)
1 NUMBER/AMOUNT the highest price, number, temperature etc that has ever been recorded: The price of oil reached a new high this week.
a) the highest temperature in a particular day, week, month etc: Highs today were in the mid 20's.
b) an area of high pressure 2 that affects the weather
3 DRUGS a feeling of pleasure or excitement produced by some drugs: The high she got from cocaine never lasted.
4 EXCITEMENT a feeling of happiness or excitement you get from doing something you enjoy: be on a high: I've been on a high ever since we won the game last week.
5 SCHOOL a short form of high school, used in the name of a school: She graduated from Reseda High in 1979.
6 on high biblical in, to, or from heaven or a high place
7 from on high humorous from someone in a position of authority: an order from on high

Longman dictionary of contemporary English. 2004.

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