Topic: MUSIC

Language: Old English
Origin: heah


1 adjective
high1 S1 W1 comparative higher, superlative highest

from bottom to top

measuring a long distance from the bottom to the top [≠ low]:
This is the highest mountain in Japan.
The camp was surrounded by a high fence.
100 feet/30 metres etc high
waves up to 40 metres high
a ten-foot high statue
How high is the Eiffel Tower?
chest/waist/knee etc high (=as high as your chest etc)
The grass was knee-high.
! Do not use high to describe people, animals, trees, plants, and narrow things of above average height. Use tall: You're getting very tall (NOT You're getting very high). | tall buildings (NOT high buildings)see usage note big1

above ground

in a position that is a long way, or a longer way than usual, above the ground, floor etc [≠ low]:
The apartment had spacious rooms with high ceilings.
a high shelf
high altitudes
The sun was already high in the sky.
High up among the clouds, we saw the summit of Everest.

large number

a high amount, number, or level is large, or larger than usual [≠ low]:
Temperatures remained high for the rest of the week.
Lower-paid workers often cannot afford the high cost of living in the capital.
high level/degree/rate etc (of something)
High levels of car use mean our streets are more congested than ever.
high crime rates
high interest rates
high price/charge/tax etc
If you want better public services, you'll have to pay higher taxes - it's as simple as that.
The train was approaching at high speed.
high proportion/percentage etc (of something) (=a very large part of a number)
A high proportion of women with children under five work full-time.

good standard

a high standard, quality etc is very good [≠ low]:
a high performance computer
high quality
a range of high quality goods at low prices
Our aim is to provide the highest quality service to all our customers.
high standard (=very good levels of work, achievement, behaviour etc)
The general standard of the entries was very high.
Our guests expect us to maintain high standards.

containing a lot

containing a lot of a particular substance or quality [≠ low]
high in something
Choose foods that are high in fiber and low in calories.
a high sugar/salt/fibre etc content
Red meat tends to have a high fat content.


having an important position in society or within an organization [≠ low]:
a high rank in the US Navy
the City's highest honour
high up (=in a powerful position)
someone high up in the CIA
high office (=an important position)
Both of them held high office in the Anglican Church.
high society (=rich people of the highest social class)
high-class, high-ranking, high-up

; ➔ friends in high places

at friend (11)


[only before noun] advanced and often complicated:
We can offer all the benefits of the latest high technology.
the world of high finance
the higher animals/mammals/organisms etc (=animals etc that are more intelligent or advanced than others)

high opinion/regard/praise etc

strong approval of someone or something, or an expression of strong approval:
I've always had a high opinion of her work.
hold somebody/something in high esteem/regard (=respect them very much)
As an educationalist, he was held in very high esteem.
Romsey earned high praise from his boss.

high priority

also high on the list/agenda important and needing to be done or dealt with quickly:
Most people feel that education needs to be given higher priority.
Arms control is high on the agenda.

high hopes/expectations

when someone hopes or expects that something will be very good or successful:
My expectations of the place were never very high, but I didn't think it would be this bad.
have high hopes/expectations
Like many young actors, I had high hopes when I first started out.


C near or above the top of the range of sounds that humans can hear [≠ low]:
I always had difficulty reaching the high notes (=when singing).
a high squeaky voice

high point

also high spot British English an especially good part of an activity or event:
The visit to the ancient capital city was one of the high points of the tour.

high ground

a) an area of land that is higher than the area surrounding it:
Villagers herded the livestock to high ground to keep them safe during the floods.
b) a better, more moral, or more powerful position in an argument or competition:
Neither side in this conflict can claim the moral high ground.

high spirits

feelings of happiness and energy, especially when you are having fun:
It was a bright sunny day and we set off in high spirits.
I don't think they intended any harm - it was just high spirits.


[not before noun] happy and excited:
I was still high from the applause.


[not before noun]MDD behaving in a strange and excited way as the result of taking drugs
high on
Most people there were high on cocaine.
get high (=take a drug to make yourself high)
Steve was as high as a kite (=strongly affected by drugs or alcohol).


having risen to a high level [≠ low]:
The river is at its highest in spring.
high tide

it is high time somebody did something

used to say that something should be done now:
It's high time you got a job.


the middle or the most important part of a particular period of time:
high summer
high noon (=12 o'clock in the middle of the day)
high season

high wind

DN a strong wind

high alert

a situation in which people are told to be ready because there is a strong possibility of an attack or of something dangerous happening
put/place somebody on high alert
Troops were put on high alert.

high life/living

the enjoyable life that rich and fashionable people have:
We're all stuck here, while he's off living the high life in New York.

high drama/adventure

very exciting events or situations:
a life with moments of high drama

end/finish/begin etc (something) on a high note

to end, finish something etc in a successful way:
The team finished their tour on a high note in Barbados.

high principles/ideals

ideas about personal behaviour based on the belief that people should always behave in an honest and morally good way:

high and mighty

talking or behaving as if you think you are better or more important than other people:
Don't get high and mighty with me.

be/get on your high horse

to give your opinion about something in a way that shows you think you are definitely right and that other people are wrong:
If she'd get down off her high horse for a moment, she might realize there's more than one point of view here.


British English cheese, meat etc that is high is not fresh and has a strong smell or taste

high days and holidays

British English special occasions

high complexion/colouring

British EnglishDCC a naturally pink or red face

in high dudgeon

formal in an angry or offended way - often used humorously



high style/register

British English a very formal style of language, especially used in literature

high German/Dutch etc

a form of a language used for formal purposes that is often different from the ordinary form used by most people

➔ stink to high heaven

at stink1 (1)
WORD FOCUS: expensive WORD FOCUS: expensive
high used about prices, rents, or charges
used about restaurants, cars, or clothes that look expensive
used about hotels, restaurants, or cars that look expensive and are used by rich or high-class people
cost a lot
also cost a bomb informal to be very expensive
be out of somebody's price range
to be more than someone can afford to pay
be a rip-off
informal to be much too expensive, so that you feel you have been cheated
exorbitant prices are much too high

See also

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