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See also: Height


Alternative forms[edit]


From Middle English heighte, heiȝþe, from Old English hēahþu, hēhþo, hīehþu (height), Proto-West Germanic *hauhiþu, from Proto-Germanic *hauhiþō (compare *hauhaz). Equivalent to high +‎ -th.



height (countable and uncountable, plural heights)

  1. The distance from the base of something to the top of said thing.
    • 1942, Robert Frost, “Happiness Makes Up in Height for What It Lacks in Length”, in A Witness Tree, New York: Henry Hold and Company, published 1943, page 15:
      Happiness Makes Up in Height for What It Lacks in Length [title of poem]
    • 1918, W[illiam] B[abington] Maxwell, chapter V, in The Mirror and the Lamp, Indianapolis, Ind.: The Bobbs-Merrill Company, →OCLC:
      He was thinking; but the glory of the song, the swell from the great organ, the clustered lights, [] , the height and vastness of this noble fane, its antiquity and its strength—all these things seemed to have their part as causes of the thrilling emotion that accompanied his thoughts.
  2. The distance of something above the ground or some other chosen level.
    We flew at a height of 15 000 meters.
  3. (phonetics) A quality of vowels, indicating the vertical position of the tongue relative to the roof of the mouth; in practice, the first formant, associated with the height of the tongue.
    Coordinate terms: (horizontal dimension) backness, (lip articulation) roundedness, length, nasalization, reduction
  4. The vertical distance from the ground to the highest part of a standing person or animal (withers in the case of a horse).
  5. The highest point or maximum degree.
    • c. 1599–1602 (date written), William Shakespeare, The Tragicall Historie of Hamlet, Prince of Denmarke: [] (Second Quarto), London: [] I[ames] R[oberts] for N[icholas] L[ing] [], published 1604, →OCLC, [Act I, scene iv]:
      [] They clip vs drunkards, and with Swiniſh phraſe / Soyle our addition, and indeede it takes / From our atchieuements, though perform’d at height / The pith and marrow of our attribute []
    • 2004, Peter Bondanella, chapter 4, in Hollywood Italians: Dagos, Palookas, Romeos, Wise Guys, and Sopranos, pages 173–174:
      During the height of Italian immigration in the United States and in New York City, gangs flourished not only because of poverty but also because of political and social corruption. Policemen and politicians were often as crooked as the gang leaders themselves.
    • 2011 October 29, Neil Johnston, “Norwich 3 - 3 Blackburn”, in BBC Sport[2]:
      If City never quite reached the heights of their 6-1 demolition of United, then Roberto Mancini's side should still have had this game safe long before Johnson restored their two-goal advantage.
    She's at the height of her career.
  6. A high point.
    • 1834, L[etitia] E[lizabeth] L[andon], chapter V, in Francesca Carrara. [], volume III, London: Richard Bentley, [], (successor to Henry Colburn), →OCLC, page 37:
      At length they arrived at the open road, skirted by a wide heath, bounded by the rising heights of the undulating country.
    • 2020 March 17, Fiona Harvey, “Pine tree near flooded Czech village voted European tree of the year”, in The Guardian[3]:
      The Guardian of the Flooded Village has grown for 350 years on a rocky height near the village of Chudobin, said locally to play host to a devil that sat under it at night, playing the violin and warding off intruders – though in reality the eerie sounds are more likely to have come from the strong winds blowing over the valley.
    1. A mountain, especially a very high one.
  7. (Sussex) An area of land at the top of a cliff.
  8. (mathematics) The amplitude of a sine function



  • (antonym(s) of "distance from bottom to top"): depth

Derived terms[edit]

Related terms[edit]



  1. ^ Jespersen, Otto (1909) A Modern English Grammar on Historical Principles (Sammlung germanischer Elementar- und Handbücher; 9)‎[1], volumes I: Sounds and Spellings, London: George Allen & Unwin, published 1961, § 3.123, page 67.

Further reading[edit]