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- Of a system: requiring a high degree of maintenance to ensure proper functioning, and without which it is likely to break down.
- (figuratively, pejorative, of a person) requiring a lot of attention or reassurance; emotionally needy
- He has this incredibly high-maintenance girlfriend; if he doesn't tell her that he loves her every five minutes, she tends to break down into hysterical depressive weepy fits.
- According to the Random House Historical Dictionary of American Slang, "high-maintenance" was popularized by When Harry Met Sally..., an American film released in 1989.