—adj. 1. having a great or considerable extent or reach upward or vertically; lofty; tall: a high wall. 2. having a specified extent upward: The apple tree is now 20 feet high. 3. situated above the ground or some base; elevated: a high platform; a high ledge. 4. exceeding the common degree or measure; strong; intense: high speed; high color. 5. expensive; costly; dear: The price of food these days is much too high. 6. exalted in rank, station, eminence, etc.; of exalted character or quality: a high official; high society. 7. Music. a. acute in pitch.
b. a little sharp, or above the desired pitch.
8. produced by relatively rapid vibrations; shrill: the high sounds of crickets. 9. extending to or from an elevation: a high dive. 10. great in quantity, as number, degree, or force: a high temperature; high cholesterol. 11. Relig. a. chief; principal; main: the high altar of a church. b. High Church.
12. of great consequence; important; grave; serious; the high consequences of such a deed; high treason. 13. haughty; arrogant: He took a high tone with his subordinates. 14. advanced to the utmost extent or to the culmination: high tide. 15. elevated; merry or hilarious: high spirits; a high old time. 16. rich; extravagant; luxurious: They have indulged in high living for years. 17. Informal.intoxicated with alcohol or narcotics: He was so high he couldn't stand up. 18. remote: high latitude; high antiquity. 19. extreme in opinion or doctrine, esp. religious or political: a high Tory. 20. designating or pertaining to highland or inland regions.
21. having considerable energy or potential power.
22. Auto.of, pertaining to, or operating at the gear transmission ratio at which the speed of the engine crankshaft and of the drive shaft most closely correspond: high gear. 23. Phonet.(of a vowel) articulated with the upper surface of the tongue relatively close to some portion of the palate, as the vowels of eat and it, which are high front, and those of boot and put, which are high back. Cf. close (def. 58), low1 (def. 30).
24. (of meat, esp. game) tending toward a desirable or undesirable amount of decomposition; slightly tainted: He likes his venison high. 25. Metall.containing a relatively large amount of a specified constituent (usually used in combination): high-carbon steel. 26. Baseball.(of a pitched ball) crossing the plate at a level above the batter's shoulders: The pitch was high and outside. 27. Cards. a. having greater value than other denominations or suits.
b. able to take a trick; being a winning card.
c. being or having a winning combination: Whose hand is high? 28. Naut.noting a wind of force 10 on the Beaufort scale, equal to a whole gale.
29. high on,Informal.enthusiastic or optimistic about; having a favorable attitude toward or opinion of.
—adv. 1. at or to a high point, place, or level.
2. in or to a high rank or estimate: He aims high in his political ambitions. 3. at or to a high amount or price.
4. in or to a high degree.
5. luxuriously; richly; extravagantly: They have always lived high. 6. Naut.as close to the wind as is possible while making headway with sails full.
7. fly high, to be full of hope or elation: His stories began to sell, and he was flying high. 8. high and dry, a. (of a ship) grounded so as to be entirely above water at low tide.
b. in a deprived or distressing situation; deserted; stranded: We missed the last bus and were left high and dry. 9. high and low, in every possible place; everywhere: The missing jewelry was never found, though we searched high and low for it.
—n. 1. Auto.high gear: He shifted into high when the road became level. 2. Informal.See high school. 3. Meteorol.a pressure system characterized by relatively high pressure at its center. Cf. anticyclone, low1 (def. 48).
4. a high or the highest point, place, or level; peak: a record high for unemployment. 5. Slang. a. a euphoric state induced by alcohol, drugs, etc.
b. a period of sustained excitement, exhilaration, or the like: After winning the lottery he was on a high for weeks. 6. Cards.the ace or highest trump out, esp. in games of the all fours family.
7. on high, a. at or to a height; above.
b. in heaven.
c. having a high position, as one who makes important decisions: the powers on high.