• WordNet 3.6
    • adj high-spirited joyously unrestrained
    • ***
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: Money man Cornelius Vanderbilt was an insomniac and a believer in the occult. He was not able to fall asleep unless each leg of his bed was planted in a dished filled with salt. He felt this kept out the evil spirits. It also kept out the snails, ants, and anyone with high blood pressure.
    • a High-spirited Full of spirit or natural fire; haughty; courageous; impetuous; not brooking restraint or opposition.
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • high-spirited Having a high spirit; bold; mettlesome; sensitive.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • High-spirited having a high spirit or natural fire: bold: daring: irascible
    • ***


  • Homer
    “But curb thou the high spirit in thy breast, for gentle ways are best, and keep aloof from sharp contentions.”
  • Samuel Taylor Coleridge
    “An orphan's curse would drag to hell, a spirit from on high; but oh! more horrible than that, is a curse in a dead man's eye!”
  • Jean Jacques Rousseau
    “How many famous and high-spirited heroes have lived a day too long?”


In high spirits - If someone is in high spirits, they are in a very good mood or feeling confident about something.


Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
A.S. héah; Goth. hauhs, Ice. hár, Ger. hoch.


In literature:

Meanwhile the party had started with fair weather, and in high spirits.
"Julian Home" by Dean Frederic W. Farrar
Kate could not help listening; Lefever's high spirits were contagious.
"Laramie Holds the Range" by Frank H. Spearman
Next morning I was awakened by the voice of my man Gode, who appeared to be in high spirits, singing a snatch of a Canadian boat-song.
"The Scalp Hunters" by Mayne Reid
The silence was in painful contrast to the high spirits in which they had ridden into town.
"The Fighting Shepherdess" by Caroline Lockhart
After a breakfast of fresh buffalo-meat we took the road in high spirits.
"The Hunters' Feast" by Mayne Reid
They were all in high spirits.
"The Music Master" by Charles Klein
He would hardly have done at the head of the high-spirited Connaughters.
"Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, Volume 61, No. 378, April, 1847" by Various
A pleasant morning glided swiftly to the hour of noontide dinner, when the boys returned to the Ha' hungry and in high spirits.
"Viking Boys" by Jessie Margaret Edmondston Saxby
In early life he had served in Indian and Mexican wars, and his high spirit brought him to this, though past middle age.
"Destruction and Reconstruction:" by Richard Taylor
The boy was sweet-tempered enough, had his hours, indeed, of overflowing fun and high spirits.
"The History of Sir Richard Calmady" by Lucas Malet

In poetry:

Not joy itself, though pure and high—
No gift will do instead of thee!
Let but my spirit know thee nigh,
And all the world may sleep for me!
"God; Not Gift" by George MacDonald
For these decay: but not for that decays
The yearning, high, rebellious spirit of man
That never rested yet since life began
From striving with red Nature and her ways.
"Victory" by C S Lewis
On to the field !—and where my plume
Gleams high amid the fray,
There gallant spirits! seek your doom—
A warrior's wreath, or warrior's tomb:—
And now—away !—away! —
"Chieftain’s Song" by Eliza Acton
Before me, through the veil that covers all,
Rays of a vasty Dawn strike high
To the zenith of the sky.
Intense, yet low as true love’s sigh,
Prophetic voices to my spirit call.
"What Though My Voice Cease Like A Moan O’ The Wind? " by Thomas Runciman
How many spirits follow
Her in that dark hollow!
Like a lost lamb she roams on high
Through the cold and soundless sky,
And stares down into her deep
Reflection in the pool of sleep.
"The Wanderer" by John Freeman
Th'enjoyments of the senses pall,
The charms of wealth grow dull and dim;
'Tis vanity and folly all—
Man finds they were not made for him;
They were not made to satisfy
A spirit that would soar so high;—
"Aspirations after Truth" by John Bowring

In news:

In this 'Hamlet' at the Broad Stage, high spirits abound.
Brady Hoke thinks his Michigan team's spirits are still high following Saturday's 41-14 loss to No.
GENEVA HIGH School Band members get into the holiday spirit for their upcoming participation in the annual Geneva Christmas parade.
Logan Reed catches the disk in the Sharon High School Ultimate "Spirit of the Game" Fall Invitational Tournament.
Mainland Regional High School are the winners of the Under Armour "Finding Undeniable " school spirit contest.
It was the end of a long night in Minnesota, and David Ortiz was still in high spirits after hitting a homer and driving in the winning run with a single on a four-hit night.
Students from the Johnson City High School Music Club were busy getting into the christmas spirit on Sunday.
Texans don letterman jackets to celebrate a high-school-like spirit.
In Sophia Dembling's 'The Introvert's Way', the quiet and shy celebrated in time for high-spirited holidays: New in Paperback.
Students from Holy Spirit High School in nearby Absecon helped residents clean up their properties damaged by Hurricane Sandy AP photo.
Doolittle Raiders lift spirits sky-high at commemoration .
The Camas High School girls soccer team endured defeat at the feet of Issaquah and Tahoma in the semifinals and the consolation finals of the state tournament last weekend in Puyallup, but nothing could break their fighting spirit.
HENDERSON COUNTY, Ky. Last week I started my search for the Christmas spirit, looking high and low.
Doolittle Raiders lift spirits sky-high at commemoration.
I was spying on a group of high-spirited girls kidding each other about living in New York after enduring the poverty of their native Puerto Rico.

In science:

It is our special pleasure and pride to acknowledge wonderful hospitality and high spirit of people in Kyiv, where several of the authors met in December days of 2004 and where a part of this paper was finalized.
Criticality of the random-site Ising model: Metropolis, Swendsen-Wang and Wolff Monte Carlo algorithms
This note brings further evidence for the fundamental r ˆole played by the geometry of the high-dimensional sphere in the analysis of the central limit theorem, in the spirit of works by Sudakov , Diaconis and Freedman and others.
Variations on the Berry-Esseen theorem
Our high-degree expansion is closer in spirit to , where pk is written as a telescoping product of ratios pk /pk−1 .
Topological phase transition in a network model with preferential attachment and node removal
As another high-dimensional example in the same spirit, we consider the randomized Kaczmarz algorithm of Strohmer and Vershynin (2009).
Beneath the valley of the noncommutative arithmetic-geometric mean inequality: conjectures, case-studies, and consequences
The space infrared interferometric telescope (SPIRIT): High-resolution imaging and spectroscopy in the far-infrared," Adv Space Res 40, 689-703 (2007). H. Shibai, M. Fukagawa, E.
A Demonstration of Spectral and Spatial Interferometry at THz Frequencies