Webster puts it nicely: Elevated in character or quality.

To be high, in modern parlance, is to be in an altered state of mind, usually by the influence of a substance. It is most commonly applied to the use of narcotics and marijuana, but can also be applied to opioids, hallucinogens (both synthetic and otherwise), and even alcohol, although this last use is unusual.

The use of this word should indicate that one has attained a plane of understanding elevated above that of the common, sober man. That is, one's outlook is clearer, one's powers of perception are greater, being unencumbered by the shadows of the mundane world. Obviously, "high" is not always an accurately applied term, unless eating a whole bag of Fritos and playing PlayStation for eight consecutive hours is said to be an "elevated character." Use of the word "high" in such a situation may be somewhat ironic in nature.

Some people are able to attain such an elevated character or quality without the use of a substance, and are said to be high on life.

KANJI: KOU taka (high, tall, expensive, sum)

ASCII Art Representation:

                      %%%%                 ,%%,
            %%,,                ,%%,
            %%%%                %%%%
            %%%%                %%%%
            %%%%                %%%%
            "%%"                "%%"
    %%,,                                ,%%,
    %%%%                                %%%%
    %%%%      %%,,            ,%%,      %%%%
    %%%%      %%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%     %%%%
    %%%%      %%%%            %%%%      %%%%
    %%%%      %%%%            %%%%      %%%%
    %%%%      %%%%            %%%%      %%%%
    %%%%      %%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%      %%%%
    %%%%      "%%"            "%%"     ,%%%%
    %%%%                           ""%%%%%%%
    "%%"                              "%%%"

Character Etymology:

From a pictograph of a tall watchtower. Expensive and sum are derived meanings from the idea of "to build up."

A Listing of All On-Yomi and Kun-Yomi Readings:

on-yomi: KOU
kun-yomi: taka(i) taka -daka taka(maru) taka(meru)

Nanori Readings:

Nanori: ka ko joi ta haka

English Definitions:

  1. KOU: high.
  2. taka(i): high, tall, lofty, raised, elevated, eminent; exalted, noble; loud, stentorian; expensive; widely known.
  3. taka: quantitiy, volume, amount, sum; [rise (in prices); high; fief.
  4. taka(maru): rise; swell; be elevated, be promoted; increase.
  5. taka(meru): raise, lift, promote, elevate; improve, enhance; ennoble; heighten; boost.
  6. taka(buru): be proud, be arrogant; be high.
  7. taka(mi): height, eminence.
  8. taka(raka ni): loudly.
  9. (o)taka(ku): proudly (in a bad sense).
  10. taka(ga): only, mearly, at best, after all.
  11. kou(jiru), kou(zuru): increase; be proud.

Character Index Numbers:

New Nelson: 6796
Henshall: 119

Unicode Encoded Version:

Unicode Encoded Compound Examples:

(kouzan): high mountain; lofty peak.
(kousho): elevation, height; altitude; long view (of things).
(kouken): your oppinion; excellent idea.
最高 (saikou): highest.
高速増殖炉 (kousoku zoushokuro): fast breeder reactor.

Previous: going | Japanese Kanji | Next: yellow

he is twenty one and he wraps it up like an old pro. i am turned on by this act, by his efficiency. i am nervous and i don’t care. he blows fresh smoke into my mouth and i inhale; a crude, yet pretty, ghost kiss. i don’t feel anything.

we are no longer at the rock quarries on the picnic table. we are sitting on a couch that is too soft and he is showing me how to use a bong. i don’t like the word or the look of it but the fumes sneak inside my brain and suddenly everything is muted, like cotton has been stuffed inside my head. i feel like a doll.

he rolls three more, one right after the other. we smoke them and now i have learned to inhale the inhale, all the way to my lungs. sometimes it hurts and burns up my throat. i cough but the coughing feels good. i am starving.

the pizza comes when i am laying with cameron on the couch, limbs tangled with each other. they lay the box on my belly and he opens it up and takes out a few slices and i am giggling like mad because it’s like my stomach is the pizza box and they are eating pizza right from the inside of me.

i take a bite. oh my god. oh my god. the taste. my eyes roll back in my head. oh my god. it’s so so so good. it’s so good. it’s so good. it’s so fucking good.

i am grinning now. like an idiot, grinning so hard that my face hurts but it’s okay and i don’t know why i’m smiling. i take another slice and my belly protests but i don’t care, the taste is so so good.

my mind is fluttering now. as quickly as one thought flits to my smoke-addled brain it’s gone and as soon as the realization hits i gasp, reality jolts and just like that it’s gone again, all ghosts and dreams and i can’t remember where i am. i am gone. i am gone.

i am panicking now. where are we? we are in this person’s house. we are here. we are on this side of town. this is dylan. this is cameron. this is josh. that dog is named buddy. we are in this town. we are in this house. we are in this town.

there is music playing but it comes in loud and reverberates in my skull and i don’t like it. i can’t. i can’t. i float to the bathroom. my belly is sore. so sore. i feel like it is going to explode it hurts so much. my back hurts. my belly hurts.

i need out. i put on my shoes and tell cameron, let’s go for a walk. i need fresh air.

this is better. this is better. oh my god, my stomach hurts so much. i feel like my belly is going to explode and i’ll die.

we walk and find a dry patch of sidewalk and i lay down. my thoughts are a thousand and none at all. each word in my inner monologue dissolves like mist in the muddy lake of my mind and i look at cameron who is lying beside me, but i can’t stare at anything for too long and oh, what was that noise? i squint through the streetlights and cameron is kissing me and my mouth is so dry and i don’t want to be high anymore.

cameron says, let’s go to the store.

we walk and i lie on the sidewalk outside of the store while he buys candy for himself and water for me. he sits and i lay and i see a girl i know from school and we say hello and i try to sound normal and not like i am being pulled everywhere at once and nowhere at all. i watch two boys in the parking lot talk to each other and i am smiling again, smiling so big and i don’t know why.

we walk back to the smokey house and i get my things and cameron carries my big pink beach towel and for some reason i am so grateful for that. it’s raining outside and as we reach the train bridge he ducks underneath and tells me we should wait there until it stops pouring. he holds the towel over our heads and kisses me. i kneel down.

i take him in my mouth.

the fog off my brain lifts a little and we are at my house, sliding down inside my bedroom. i make him come again, again, again, again.

he goes.

i sleep hard and fast.

i dream.

High (?), v. i. [See Hie.]

To hie.


Men must high them apace, and make haste. Holland.


© Webster 1913.

High (?), a. [Compar. Higher (?); superl. Highest.] [OE. high, hegh, hey, heh, AS. heah, hh; akin to OS. hh, OFries. hag, hach, D. hoog, OHG. hh, G. hoch, Icel. hr, Sw. hog, Dan. hoi, Goth. hauhs, and to Icel. haugr mound, G. hugel hill, Lith. kaukaras.]


Elevated above any starting point of measurement, as a line, or surface; having altitude; lifted up; raised or extended in the direction of the zenith; lofty; tall; as, a high mountain, tower, tree; the sun is high.


Regarded as raised up or elevated; distinguished; remarkable; conspicuous; superior; -- used indefinitely or relatively, and often in figurative senses, which are understood from the connection

; as -


Elevated in character or quality, whether moral or intellectual; preeminent; honorable; as, high aims, or motives

. "The highest faculty of the soul."



Exalted in social standing or general estimation, or in rank, reputation, office, and the like; dignified; as, she was welcomed in the highest circles


He was a wight of high renown. Shak.


Of noble birth; illustrious; as, of high family



Of great strength, force, importance, and the like; strong; mighty; powerful; violent; sometimes, triumphant; victorious; majestic, etc.; as, a

high wind; high passions. "With rather a high manner."


Strong is thy hand, and high is thy right hand. Ps. lxxxix. 13.

Can heavenly minds such high resentment show? Dryden.


Very abstract; difficult to comprehend or surmount; grand; noble


Both meet to hear and answer such high things. Shak.

Plain living and high thinking are no more. Wordsworth.


Costly; dear in price; extravagant; as, to hold goods at a high price


If they must be good at so high a rate, they know they may be safe at a cheaper. South.


Arrogant; lofty; boastful; proud; ostentatious; -- used in a bad sense


An high look and a proud heart . . . is sin. Prov. xxi. 4.

His forces, after all the high discourses, amounted really but to eighteen hundred foot. Clarendon.


Possessing a characteristic quality in a supreme or superior degree; as, high (i. e., intense) heat; high (i. e., full or quite) noon; high (i. e., rich or spicy) seasoning; high (i. e., complete) pleasure; high (i. e., deep or vivid) color; high (i. e., extensive, thorough) scholarship, etc.

High time it is this war now ended were. Spenser.

High sauces and spices are fetched from the Indies. Baker.

4. Cookery

Strong-scented; slightly tainted; as, epicures do not cook game before it is high.

5. Mus.

Acute or sharp; -- opposed to grave or low; as, a high note.

6. Phon.

Made with a high position of some part of the tongue in relation to the palate, as e (eve), oo (food). See Guide to Pronunciation, §§ 10, 11.

High admiral, the chief admiral. -- High altar, the principal altar in a church. -- High and dry, out of water; out of reach of the current or tide; -- said of a vessel, aground or beached. -- High and mighty arrogant; overbearing. [Colloq.] -- High art, art which deals with lofty and dignified subjects and is characterized by an elevated style avoiding all meretricious display. -- High bailiff, the chief bailiff. -- High Church, & Low Church, two ecclesiastical parties in the Church of England and the Protestant Episcopal Church. The high-churchmen emphasize the doctrine of the apostolic succession, and hold, in general, to a sacramental presence in the Eucharist, to baptismal regeneration, and to the sole validity of Episcopal ordination. They attach much importance to ceremonies and symbols in worship. Low-churchmen lay less stress on these points, and, in many instances, reject altogether the peculiar tenets of the high-church school. See Broad Church. -- High constable Law, a chief of constabulary. See Constable, n., 2. -- High commission court,a court of ecclesiastical jurisdiction in England erected and united to the regal power by Queen Elizabeth in 1559. On account of the abuse of its powers it was abolished in 1641. -- High day Script., a holy or feast day. John xix. 31. -- High festival Eccl., a festival to be observed with full ceremonial. -- High German, or High Dutch. See under German. -- High jinks, an old Scottish pastime; hence, noisy revelry; wild sport. [Colloq.] "All the high jinks of the county, when the lad comes of age." F. Harrison. -- High latitude Geog., one designated by the higher figures; consequently, a latitude remote from the equator. -- High life, life among the aristocracy or the rich. -- High liver, one who indulges in a rich diet. -- High living, a feeding upon rich, pampering food. -- High Mass. R. C. Ch. See under Mass. -- High milling, a process of making flour from grain by several successive grindings and intermediate sorting, instead of by a single grinding. -- High noon, the time when the sun is in the meridian. -- High place Script., an eminence or mound on which sacrifices were offered. -- High priest. See in the Vocabulary. -- High relief. Fine Arts See Alto-rilievo. -- High school. See under School. High seas Law, the open sea; the part of the ocean not in the territorial waters of any particular sovereignty, usually distant three miles or more from the coast line. Wharton. -- High steam, steam having a high pressure. -- High steward, the chief steward. -- High tea, tea with meats and extra relishes. -- High tide, the greatest flow of the tide; high water. -- High time. (a) Quite time; full time for the occasion. (b) A time of great excitement or enjoyment; a carousal. [Slang] -- High treason, treason against the sovereign or the state, the highest civil offense. See Treason.

It is now sufficient to speak of high treason as treason simply, seeing that petty treason, as a distinct offense, has been abolished. Mozley & W.

-- High water, the utmost flow or greatest elevation of the tide; also, the time of such elevation. -- High-water mark. (a) That line of the seashore to which the waters ordinarily reach at high water. (b) A mark showing the highest level reached by water in a river or other body of fresh water, as in time of freshet. -- High-water shrub Bot., a composite shrub (Iva frutescens), growing in salt marshes along the Atlantic coast of the United States. -- High wine, distilled spirits containing a high percentage of alcohol; -- usually in the plural. -- To be on a high horse, to be on one's dignity; to bear one's self loftily. [Colloq.] -- With a high hand. (a) With power; in force; triumphantly. "The children of Israel went out with a high hand." Ex. xiv. 8.(b) In an overbearing manner, arbitrarily. "They governed the city with a high hand." Jowett (Thucyd. ).

Syn. -- Tall; lofty; elevated; noble; exalted; supercilious; proud; violent; full; dear. See Tall.


© Webster 1913.

High (?), adv.

In a high manner; in a high place; to a great altitude; to a great degree; largely; in a superior manner; eminently; powerfully.

"And reasoned high." Milton. "I can not reach so high." Shak.

High is extensively used in the formation of compound words, most of which are of very obvious signification; as, high-aimed, high-arched, high-aspiring, high-bearing, high-boasting, high-browed, high-crested, high-crowned, high-designing, high-engendered, high-feeding, high-flaming, high-flavored, high-gazing, high-heaped, high-heeled, high-priced, high-reared, high-resolved, high-rigged, high-seated, high-shouldered, high-soaring, high-towering, high-voiced, and the like.

High and low, everywhere; in all supposable places; as, I hunted high and low. [Colloq.]


© Webster 1913.

High, n.


An elevated place; a superior region; a height; the sky; heaven.


People of rank or high station; as, high and low.

3. Card Playing

The highest card dealt or drawn.

High, low, jack, and the game, a game at cards; -- also called all fours, old sledge, and seven up. -- In high and low, utterly; completely; in every respect. [Obs.] Chaucer. -- On high, aloft; above.

The dayspring from on high hath visited us. Luke i. 78.

-- The Most High, the Supreme Being; God.


© Webster 1913.

High (?), v. i.

To rise; as, the sun higheth.



© Webster 1913.

Log in or register to write something here or to contact authors.