a. Abbr. h The distance from the base of something to the top.
b. Elevation above a given level, as of the sun or a star above the horizon; altitude. See Synonyms at elevation.
a. The condition or attribute of being relatively or sufficiently high or tall: Height is an advantage in basketball.
b. Stature, especially of the human body.
3. Often heights
a. A hill, mountain, or other piece of ground that stands out from the surrounding land.
b. A high point or position: Prices rose to stunning heights.
a. The highest or uppermost point; the summit or apex: finally reached the height of the mountain.
b. The highest or most advanced degree; the zenith: at the height of her career.
c. The point of highest intensity; the climax: the height of a storm.
a. Obsolete High rank, estate, or degree.
b. Archaic Loftiness of mind.
c. Obsolete Arrogance; hauteur: "He returned me a very resolute answer, and full of height" (Oliver Cromwell).
[Middle English, from Old English hēhthu, hēahthu.]
Usage Note: Although some people pronounce height with a final (th) by analogy with length and width (and, in fact, the word was originally pronounced and written with a th), the standard pronunciation in Modern English is (hīt).
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2022 by HarperCollins Publishers. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.