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high-maintenance (comparative more high-maintenance, superlative most high-maintenance)

  1. Of a system: requiring a high degree of maintenance to ensure proper functioning, and without which it is likely to break down.
  2. (figuratively, derogatory, 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.

Usage notes[edit]

  • 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.


See also[edit]