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High-strung   /haɪ-strəŋ/   Listen
High-strung

adjective
1.
Being in a tense state.  Synonyms: edgy, highly strung, jittery, jumpy, nervy, overstrung, restive, uptight.






WordNet 3.0 © 2010 Princeton University








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"High-strung" Quotes from Famous Books



... organ peal that soar'd the vocal lift along, As chorus'd to the high-strung harp his words of mightier song, Lest, hapless chance! should rise, above the swelling of the tide, A remnant of the ambitious love that sought ...
— The Modern Scottish Minstrel, Volumes I-VI. - The Songs of Scotland of the Past Half Century • Various

... grow rather good-looking, Kid, when you get hot, but you go at things half-cocked, and you 've got to get over it. That's the whole trouble—you 've never been trained, and I would n't make much of a trainer for a high-strung filly like you. Ever remember ...
— Bob Hampton of Placer • Randall Parrish

... the docks surged through dull and confused, a medley of clanking hatch-covers, complaining tackle, deep-throated protests of donkey-engines, outlandish commands from stevedores, and the yelps of high-strung ...
— Isle o' Dreams • Frederick F. Moore

... first and to marvel at the victories of the second. That is not my mood when I recall the relation between the Countess and myself. For sometimes, while passion becomes less fierce, aspiration grows less exalted. The man who calls most, if not all, things vanity, will yield to desires which some high-strung ideal in the boy would rout. At forty the feelings are not so strong as at twenty, but neither are the ambitions, the dreams, the conception of self. It is easier to resist, but it may not seem so well worth while. Thus it is with me. I wonder not at the beginning or progress of my first ...
— The King's Mirror • Anthony Hope

... breakdown often appears as the direct result from emotional strain such as an unhappy love affair, or the fear of failure in examinations. It may have followed acute illness, like influenza or pneumonia. But the original temperament was nervous, high-strung, delicate; one learns of an appetite that disappeared easily, a sleep readily disturbed, in short, an easily lowered or obstructed output ...
— The Nervous Housewife • Abraham Myerson

... the lyrical composer par excellence of the modern school, and the intensity of his expression finds its equal in literature only in the songs of Heinrich Heine, to whom Chopin has been justly compared. A sensation of such high-strung passion cannot be prolonged. Hence we see that the shorter forms of music, the etude, the nocturne, besides the national dances already alluded to, are chosen by Chopin in preference. Even when he treats the larger forms of the concerto or the sonata this concentrated, ...
— Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, Volume 6, Slice 3 - "Chitral" to "Cincinnati" • Various

... He was sensitive and high-strung. Temperamentally he coveted the good opinion of those about him. Moreover, he wanted to deserve it. No man had ever spoken to him in just the tone of this little Irish cowpuncher, who had come out of ...
— The Sheriff's Son • William MacLeod Raine

... at a glance, and promised their aid. They had all looked upon Inga as "high-strung" and "queer," and it did not surprise them to hear that she had been frightened out of her wits at their request for the loan of little Hans. Forming a line, with a space of twenty feet between each man, they began to beat the bush, climbing ...
— Boyhood in Norway • Hjalmar Hjorth Boyesen

... have had such a high-strung, sensitive nervous organization that opposition of any sort ...
— Hermione and Her Little Group of Serious Thinkers • Don Marquis

... teetotalism. The routine of the farm-hand, while by no means ideal in other respects, keeps him from craving drink as intensely as other toilers do. A day's work in the open air fills his veins at nightfall with an opiate of weariness instead of a high-strung nervousness. The strong men of the community are church elders, not through fanaticism, but by right of leadership. Through their office they are committed to prohibition. So opposition to the temperance movement is scattering. ...
— The Art Of The Moving Picture • Vachel Lindsay

... that the real problem was to get away from these high-strung, squabbling men, to escape from this hot, smelly ...
— Death Wish • Robert Sheckley

... ford. The brook was swollen during the night, and the groom could not forbear intimating to his master, that there was considerable danger in attempting to cross it. But Mowbray's mind and feelings were too high-strung to permit him to listen to cautious counsel. He spurred the snorting and reluctant horse into the torrent, though the water, rising high on the upper side, broke both over the pommel and the croupe of his saddle. It was by ...
— St. Ronan's Well • Sir Walter Scott

... on the occasion of her introductory visit to the Colosseum when, for the first time, she was a spectator at an exhibition of fighting gladiators. She was in a high-strung state of elation and anticipation. Going to the Amphitheatre, in itself, was a soul-stirring experience. Meffia, to Brinnaria's joy, had been on duty that day, along with Numisia. This alone was enough to put Brinnaria in a good humor. Meffia's presence ...
— The Unwilling Vestal • Edward Lucas White

... mind Milton's threefold canon, we must admit that his poetry lacks three great elements of power. He is not Simple, Sensuous, or Passionate. He is too essentially modern to be really simple. He is the product of a high-strung civilization, and all its complicated crosscurrents of thought and feeling stir and perplex his verse. Simplicity of style indeed he constantly aims at, and, by the aid of a fastidious culture, secures. But his simplicity is, to use the distinction which he himself imported from ...
— Matthew Arnold • G. W. E. Russell

... another a gathering of heathen rustics; in a third a crowd of philosophers. To the Jews he invariably speaks, to begin with, about the heroes of their national history; to the ignorant heathen he talks about the weather and the crops; and to the Athenians he quotes their own poets and delivers a high-strung oration; yet in every case he arrives naturally at his own subject and preaches the gospel to each audience in the language of its own familiar ideas. Even outside of his own peculiar sphere altogether, St. Paul was equal to every occasion. During his voyage to Rome, when the skill of the ...
— The Preacher and His Models - The Yale Lectures on Preaching 1891 • James Stalker

... were dispersing, she sat quite still, and closed her eyes. For her soul was too high-strung now to endure the chit-chat she knew would attack her on the road home,—chit-chat that had been welcome enough ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 17, No. 102, April, 1866 • Various

... Zenians have a strange way of being right about such things; their high-strung, sensitive natures seem capable of responding to those delicate, vagrant forces which even now are only incompletely understood ...
— Astounding Stories of Super-Science September 1930 • Various

... special after that, wouldn't you? But what I finds close to my elbow is a wispy little girl with a pinched, high-strung look on her thin face, an amazin' collection of freckles, and a pleadin' look in her big, blue-gray eyes. She's costumed mainly in a shaggy tam-o'-shanter that comes down over her ears, and an old plaid cape ...
— Torchy, Private Sec. • Sewell Ford

... with a grin, much as if his friend's query had freed him from a spell. "Piffle, Krech. If a woman like that—high-strung, nervous—were to kill a man it would be in some swift fit of passion. Varr's death came as the climax of a deliberate campaign of persecution. She ...
— The Monk of Hambleton • Armstrong Livingston

... other type of Anglo-Saxon, still boyish in looks, high-strung and nervous, erratic in speech and action, just a bit self-conscious, Winston Churchill was the youngest member of this remarkable gathering. I had met him during the Boer War, and as he took off his motoring coat he ...
— The Secrets of the German War Office • Dr. Armgaard Karl Graves

... are years? A ripe three score and ten Hold often less of life, in its best sense, Than just a twelvemonth lived by other men, Whose high-strung ...
— Yesterdays • Ella Wheeler Wilcox

... the head of the Kumamoto Boys' School during the period of its fierce struggles and final collapse, whom I have already referred to as the Hero-Principal,[AS] is another example of this impractical high-strung visionariness. No sooner had he reached Kumamoto, than there opened before our enchanted eyes the vision of this little insignificant school blooming out into a great university. True, there had been some of this bombast before his arrival; ...
— Evolution Of The Japanese, Social And Psychic • Sidney L. Gulick

... Varney went down to a solitary luncheon. At quarter past, followed by the reproachful gaze of McTosh, he came out again. In the pit of his stomach reposed a great emptiness, but it was not hunger. He felt restless, high-strung, all made of nerves. He wanted to do something of a violent, physical sort, the more grueling the better; and his task was to loll in an easy-chair under a pretty ...
— Captivating Mary Carstairs • Henry Sydnor Harrison

... doctor, his was the sort of temperament one often meets with in very fair men of his type—intensely shy, but with a backing of resolution on occasion shown, bred of a capacity for high-strung passion. He had formed his intention fully and clearly of telling Sally the whole truth before they arrived at St. Sennans that evening, and had been hastened to what was virtually an avowal by a premature accident, as ...
— Somehow Good • William de Morgan

... with a sum total of thirty-seven cents in his pocket. The glimpses we get of him during his wanderings, from the recollections of certain men with whom he made acquaintance in stages and on river steamboats, make a curious and striking picture of American character. The feverish, high-strung boy was never dismayed and never a dreamer, but ...
— Stephen Arnold Douglas • William Garrott Brown

... offensive in his approaches, until finally I turned on him. "Are you trying to make love to me?" I demanded. "The surest thing you know," he said with a rather moonish smile. "Then let me tell you something," I hissed out at him, with my nose within six inches of his, "I'm a high-strung hell-cat, I am. I'm a bob-cat, and I'm not aching to be pawed by you or any other hare-brained he-mutt. So now, right from this minute, keep your distance! Is that clear? Keep your distance, or I'll break your ...
— The Prairie Mother • Arthur Stringer

... may be plainly recognized, and these reveal a triple ancestry. He claims descent from Montaigne by virtue of his original observation of humanity with its entire accumulation of custom and prejudice; he is akin to Rousseau in a high-strung susceptibility to emotions, sentiments, and ideas; and he is tinged with a cynicism to which there is no closer parallel than in the maxims of La Rochefoucauld. The union of the philosopher, the enthusiast, and the man of the world is fairly unusual in literature, ...
— Hazlitt on English Literature - An Introduction to the Appreciation of Literature • Jacob Zeitlin

... no evading the square, cold, rigid test of skill in argument and truth in principle. The processions and banners, the music and fireworks, of both parties, were stilled and forgotten while the audience listened with high-strung nerves to the intellectual combat ...
— A Short Life of Abraham Lincoln - Condensed from Nicolay & Hay's Abraham Lincoln: A History • John G. Nicolay

... predominantly juristic training and mode of thinking make him at times disputatious, and tend to impede the progress of affairs. In official intercourse he is frank and obliging, so long as his [Bavarian] patriotism, which is high-strung and extremely irritable, is treated with consideration; a foible for which I take particular ...
— Library Of The World's Best Literature, Ancient And Modern, Vol. 5 • Various

... and lasted for days. He spoke at length of his discovery of Clark's identity, and of the fact that the boy had lost all memory of what had happened, and even of who he was. He went into that in detail; the peculiar effect of fear and mental shock on a high-strung nature, especially where the physical condition was lowered by excess and wrong-living; his early attempts, as the boy improved, to pierce the veil, and then his slow-growing conviction that it were an act of mercy not to do so. The Donaldsons' faithfulness, the cessation of the search under ...
— The Breaking Point • Mary Roberts Rinehart

... knew well caught him, and he laughed. It was the possession that had held in him in every action which he had so far been in. It lifted his high-strung spirit into an atmosphere where there was no dread and no disgust, only a keen rapture in throwing every atom of soul and body into physical intensity; it was as if he himself were a bright blade, dashing, cutting, killing, a living sword rejoicing to destroy. With the coolness that may go with ...
— The Militants - Stories of Some Parsons, Soldiers, and Other Fighters in the World • Mary Raymond Shipman Andrews

... high-strung sublimity of Demosthenes is appropriate to all cases where it is desired to exaggerate, or to rouse some vehement emotion, and generally when we want to carry away our audience with us. We must employ the diffusive ...
— On the Sublime • Longinus

... heart, perhaps, Mark was not sorry to be convinced that what he had resolved to do was impossible. The high-strung mood in which he had been ready to proclaim his wrong-doing was already passing away. Vincent ...
— The Giant's Robe • F. Anstey

... her feel that she must and WILL have her romance. If you can make Louise feel that you love her so well as to become her gallant suitor, circumstances may soon give you great advantages. She may be cold and indifferent for a time, but like all passionate high-strung natures, present impulses against may turn just as strongly for you. At least, you have not to contend with that most fatal of all attitudes— indifference. A great change in you will be a flattering tribute to her power to ...
— Miss Lou • E. P. Roe

... the ascendant; and he understood his brother sufficiently well to believe that his attack must run its natural course, as like fevers had done before. From what he had seen he also thought that Amy could deal with Burt better than any one else, for although high-strung, he was also manly and generous when once he got his bearings. In his present mood he would bitterly resent interference from any one, but would be bound to obey Amy and to respect her wishes. Therefore he took especial pains ...
— Nature's Serial Story • E. P. Roe

... Chapter's face, and I can almost hear his deliberate words, "You've been at the tea again, and underfeeding, I expect, as usual. Better see my nerve doctor, and then come with me to the south of France." For this fellow, who knows nothing of disordered liver or high-strung nerves, goes regularly to a great nerve specialist with the periodical belief that his nervous ...
— Masterpieces of Mystery, Vol. 1 (of 4) - Ghost Stories • Various

... communicated to him one evening after an uproarious dinner. Then, too, she was no longer the same woman. Something was more pronounced than of old, and her gray foulard gown which fitted loosely over her shoulders added a touch of license to her delicate, high-strung elegance. ...
— Nana, The Miller's Daughter, Captain Burle, Death of Olivier Becaille • Emile Zola

... in the high-strung accents which in crises of great mental agony are common to the most self-restrained of us, "you have been for twenty years a living lie! For twenty years you have cheated and mocked me. For twenty years—in company with a scoundrel whose name is ...
— For the Term of His Natural Life • Marcus Clarke

... individual has a high warm color, does not sleep well, becomes or remains thin no matter how much he or she eats, is abnormally susceptible sexually, may suffer from a definite insomnia, is emotional, and perspires freely. Alert, neurotic or high-strung, magnetic, and imaginative are some of the descriptive adjectives applicable. The eyes are bright and prominent, large and beautiful, when they have not reached the stage entitled "pop-eyed." Or they may even become so protuberant and bulging as to develop the expression ...
— The Glands Regulating Personality • Louis Berman, M.D.

... as his lined face and his high-strung manner showed; he was half-killing himself and he was not easy. So much hung on it; before all England he had backed himself to win, and in the strain of his excitement it seemed to him that the stake he laid was his whole reputation. Was all ...
— Quisante • Anthony Hope

... determined young man, he did not give in. Once he lost a shoe, but a little searching recovered that. On another occasion, a passing dog, seeing things going on in the ditch which in his opinion should not have been going on—he was a high-strung dog, unused to coming upon heads moving along the road without bodies attached—accompanied Percy for over a quarter of a mile, causing him exquisite discomfort by making sudden runs at his face. A well-aimed stone settled this ...
— A Damsel in Distress • Pelham Grenville Wodehouse

... enemies, have the most brilliant name in war. Therefore, while their careless confidence continues, and they are still thinking, as in my judgment they are now doing, more of retreat than of maintaining their position, while their spirit is slack and not high-strung with expectation, I with the men under my command will, if possible, take them by surprise and fall with a run upon their centre; and do you, Clearidas, afterwards, when you see me already upon them, and, as is likely, dealing ...
— The History of the Peloponnesian War • Thucydides

... and tuned up to the highest pitch in his wrestling with Nature, and will have been purged and purified in the white region of the highest mountains. And in this high-strung state he will now see that creation and manifestation of Nature which of all natural objects will best declare her meaning, bring him into closer touch with her very Heart, and stir in him the deepest emotions. Between him and this object there will be ...
— The Heart of Nature - or, The Quest for Natural Beauty • Francis Younghusband

... had sprung up since he had last seen her! Almost a woman now—and destined to be a beauty! And more than just a beauty: she was colorful, vital, high-strung. Before he had gone away he had regarded her with something akin to the negligent affection of an older brother. But this thing which was already beginning to surge up in him was altogether ...
— Children of the Whirlwind • Leroy Scott

... enjoyment of what he conceived of Halleck's embarrassment. "But I guess she must have smelt a rat. As the fellow says," he added, seeing the disgust that Halleck could not keep out of his face, "I shall make a clean breast of it, as soon as she can bear it. She's pretty high-strung. Lying down, now," he explained. "You see, I went out to get something to make me sleep, and the first thing I knew I had got too much. Good thing I turned up on your doorstep; might have been waltzing into the police court about now. How did ...
— A Modern Instance • William Dean Howells

... clever" is not to give him high praise. From this fault of super-subtilty women are free for the most part. They are more likely than men to rely on broad human emotion, and their tendency in error is toward the morbid analysis of a high-strung ...
— Lippincott's Magazine, October 1885 • Various

... as we know to have been the case with Bismarck. There is a contrast between these two men in their very makeup. There is tragedy in Bismarck's soul, in its volcanic eruptiveness and its conflicts. He is nervously high-strung in the extreme, the very embodiment, in Karl Lamprecht's terminology, of the type of "Reizsamkeit." He likes to listen to Beethoven's music and his sense of nature reveals him to be impressionable, sensitive. His gamut of emotions and feelings, and their expression, is extraordinary. Moltke, ...
— The German Classics of The Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries, Vol. X. • Kuno Francke

... twenty-six years old, is of an old but unconsidered family which had by compulsion emigrated from Sedgemoor, and for King James's purse's profit, so everybody said—some maliciously the rest merely because they believed it. The bride is nineteen and beautiful. She is intense, high-strung, romantic, immeasurably proud of her Cavalier blood, and passionate in her love for her young husband. For its sake she braved her father's displeasure, endured his reproaches, listened with loyalty unshaken to his warning predictions ...
— Innocents abroad • Mark Twain

... Venetia endeavoured to assume her accustomed serenity. The waiting-woman bustled about, arranging the toilet-table, which had been for a moment discomposed, putting away a cap, folding up a shawl, and indulging in a multitude of inane observations which little harmonised with the high-strung tension of Venetia's mind. Mistress Pauncefort opened a casket with a spring lock, in which she placed some trinkets of her mistress. Venetia stood by her in silence; her eye, vacant and wandering, beheld the ...
— Venetia • Benjamin Disraeli

... of sharp bargains and shrewd trading, like Matthew, felt His pull upon their hearts equally with men of pure heart and lofty ideals like Nathanael. By special effort, for a special purpose He drew high-bred, high-strung, scholarly, intense Paul, out of his mad ...
— Quiet Talks with World Winners • S. D. Gordon

... trust you, for your promise means more than oath and vows from other people, and if occasion demand, I know you will guard my Bertie, my high-strung, passionate, beautiful boy! Your pretty cottage? Ah, child! when shall ...
— At the Mercy of Tiberius • August Evans Wilson

... that a scene of emotion is infinitely distressing to me, but I could not disobey the commands of this illustrious lady, the widow of my kindest patron and friend. I went, prepared for tears, for outcries, perhaps for violent resistance, for the ardent and high-strung nature of my beloved Senorita Margarita is well known to me. Figure to yourself, honoured senor, my surprise at finding this charming damsel calm, composed, even smiling. She greeted me with her accustomed tenderness; a more enchanting personality does not, I am assured, adorn ...
— Rita • Laura E. Richards

... of us with our homes, closed against her, as she feels, and you know we did feel so, too, Calvin; and when I put myself in her place and remember the things she heard me say, I don't blame her for refusing our advice and help. She's young and high-strung, and oh, I've made such a mess of it, and,—and,—say something, Calvin Trent!" Miss Lacey made the addition so explosively that the judge jumped. "Say you'll send some of your detectives to keep watch of her—quick—to-morrow—before she has ...
— The Opened Shutters • Clara Louise Burnham

... exclaimed her aunt; "he was always so perfectly devoted to 'little daughter,' as he used to call you. I don't like him myself. We never could get along together at all, because he is so high-strung and overbearing. But I know it would have made your poor mother mighty unhappy if she ...
— The Little Colonel • Annie Fellows Johnston

... community did not suffer from any want of food or other necessaries, for they found a store of provisions in one of the huts that had evidently been placed there in case of need similar to their own; so, things jogged on evenly enough. Still, all were in a state of high-strung suspense, looking out eagerly from morning till night for the promised vessel that every one expected was coming ...
— The Wreck of the Nancy Bell - Cast Away on Kerguelen Land • J. C. Hutcheson

... here—when both Olga and Mrs. Dixon agreed that he couldn't possibly do a bit of good—announced that I had come through it all like the true Prairie Woman that I was. Then he somewhat pompously and redundantly explained that I was a highly organized individual, "a bit high-strung," as Mrs. Dixon put it. I smiled into the pillow when he turned to my anxious-eyed Dinky-Dunk and condoningly enlarged on the fact that there was nothing abnormal about a woman like me being—well, rather abnormal as to temper ...
— The Prairie Wife • Arthur Stringer

... difficulty was, that I had inherited a high-strung, passionate temper from my mother, and a strong self-will from my father, which made a combination hard to subdue. In my later days I have come to realize that I must have tantalized and pestered my mother beyond all reason, and too often, no doubt, at times when her life was harassed, ...
— Twenty Years of Hus'ling • J. P. Johnston

... walking into any Mekstrom way station now was just asking for capture and a fast trip to their reorientation rooms. The facts of my failure and my taking-of-leave would be indication enough for Catherine that I was bowing out. It would be better for Catherine, too, to avoid a fine, high-strung, emotional scene. I remembered the little bawling session in the Harrison living room that night; Catherine would not die for want of a sympathetic hand on her shoulder. In fact, as she'd said pragmatically, well balanced people never die ...
— Highways in Hiding • George Oliver Smith

... fracas was getting closer and buffs were beginning to stream into town to bask in the atmosphere of threatened death. Everybody knew what a military center, on the outskirts of a fracas reservation such as the Catskills, was like immediately preceding a clash between rival corporations. The high-strung gaiety, the drinking, the overtranking, the relaxation of mores. Even a Rank Private had it made. Admiring civilians to buy drinks and hang on your every word, and more important still, sensuous-eyed women, their faces slack in thinly suppressed ...
— Mercenary • Dallas McCord Reynolds

... and careless, obsessed only with the one idea of having a good time,—never mind who paid for it,—Joan knew nothing of the danger of trifling with the feelings of a high-strung man who had never been denied, a man over-civilized to the point of moral decay. If she had paused in her determined pursuit of amusement and distraction to analyze her true state of mind she might have discovered an angry desire to pay ...
— Who Cares? • Cosmo Hamilton

... a lecture on the High-caste women of India. She should supplement it with one on the High-strung women of Indiana, and thus illustrate the extremes of marriage ...
— Punchinello, Vol. 1, No. 11, June 11, 1870 • Various

... difficulty in understanding and doing justice to one another. Christ understands and does justice to them both. Martha, bustling, practical, utilitarian to the finger-tips, does not much care about listening to Christ's words of wisdom. She has not any very high-strung or finely-spun emotions, but she can busy herself in getting a meal ready; she loves Him with all her heart, and she takes her own way of showing it. But she gets impatient with her sister, and thinks that her sitting at Christ's feet is a dreamy waste of ...
— Expositions of Holy Scripture - St. Mark • Alexander Maclaren

... popular figure with the public, and when he began his seemingly hopeless fight, the crowd cheered him wildly. He broke through Church's service and drew even amid a terrific din. Church, always a very high-strung, nervous player, showed that the crowd's partiality was getting on his nerves. The gallery noticed it, and became more partisan than ever. The spirit of mob rule took hold, and for once they lost all sense of sportsmanship. They clapped ...
— The Art of Lawn Tennis • William T. Tilden, 2D

... same fate. I saw them growing up in complete destitution of those country sights and sounds which had made my own youth delightful; acquiring the superficial sharpness of the city child and his slang; suffering at times by the anaemia and listlessness bred of vitiated air; high-strung and sensitive as those must needs be whose nerves are in perpetual agitation; and when, in chance excursions to the country, I compared my children with the children of cottagers and ploughmen, I felt that ...
— The Quest of the Simple Life • William J. Dawson

... never fighting it," Graham answered, his eyes on the spray of color in her cheeks and the tiny beads of sweat that arose from her continuous struggle with the high-strung creature she rode. Thirty- eight! He wondered if Ernestine had lied. Paula Forrest did not look twenty-eight. Her skin was the skin of a girl, with all the delicate, fine-pored and thin transparency of the skin ...
— The Little Lady of the Big House • Jack London

... look,' the one who had demurred suggested after a quarter of an hour had passed, during which no further sound had come from the bedroom. 'Madge is very high-strung. She may have fainted from the shock. I told you fellows that it was an ...
— Where the Strange Trails Go Down • E. Alexander Powell

... treasure was to bring was mercifully concealed from him, as also the sombre fact that he would henceforth go lonely all his life, perforce obliged to content himself with the crumbs of another man's feast. For Peter Bellair, high-strung, imaginative, as he will ever be, will worship the strong, kindly, simple man he believes to be his father, but to that dear father's friend he will only yield the careless affection born ...
— Studies in love and in terror • Marie Belloc Lowndes

... plainly a sick man. Whispers of sympathy ran about the court-room. Every one knew how he had sacrificed a friend to his sense of civic duty, and everyone knew what pain that act must have caused a man with such a high-strung conscience. ...
— Counsel for the Defense • Leroy Scott

... mean to tell me that those idiots believe on such flimsy evidence as that that Nancy killed Lloyd!" exclaimed Miss Metoaca wrathfully. "Do you believe a young, delicate, high-strung girl, like Nancy, could commit such a ...
— The Lost Despatch • Natalie Sumner Lincoln

... patted her hand. "There now, Trixie," he said, "don't get excited; you're the best girl in town, only you're too high-strung. Haven't I always stood by you? Did I ever turn you down, even when these high-brow ladies gave you the glassy eye? Why are you going back on a friend now? You had lots to say about the Daughter of the Empire who came to see ...
— The Next of Kin - Those who Wait and Wonder • Nellie L. McClung

... of all the sons' wives, as her husband was the latest born. She was quite a girl to some of them. Grandma had never more than half approved of her. Dorcas was high-strung and flighty, she said. She had her doubts about living happily with her. But Atherton was anxious for this division of the property, and he was her youngest darling, so she gave in. She felt lonely, and out of her element, when everything was arranged, ...
— Junior Classics, V6 • Various

... was showing the effects of the terrible toil worse than either the carpenter or myself, and I was afraid he might break when the fighting strain came. I had yet to learn what magnificent reserves there were in this clean-cut, high-strung young fellow who, when we began, looked as if he had never done a day's real labor ...
— Branded • Francis Lynde

... over-eager to read. It is not all mothers who understand what boys are,—their quick susceptibilities, their precocious manliness, all their mystical ways and oddities. A letter from Mrs. Haughton generally somewhat fretted and irritated Lionel's high-strung nerves, and he had instinctively put off the task of reading the one he held, till satisfied hunger and cool-breathing shadows, and rest from the dusty road, had lent their soothing aid to his ...
— What Will He Do With It, Complete • Edward Bulwer-Lytton

... looking around the circle of faces, each one frozen with amazement, and just a suspicion, perhaps of incredulity. "It's particularly unfortunate for her. You all know how high-strung she is, and if the papers should get hold of it—well, we'll all have to make it as easy as we can ...
— When a Man Marries • Mary Roberts Rinehart

... Its brown canopy was shiny in the sun. A huge Red Cross adorned either side with a crimson splash that ought to be visible on a dark night. The thirty horse-power engine purred and obeyed with the sympathy of a high-strung horse. Seats and stretchers inside were clean and fresh for stricken men. From Hilda's own home town of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, had come a friendship's garland of one hundred dollars. She liked to fancy that ...
— Young Hilda at the Wars • Arthur Gleason

... restrained. Excessive emotion either chokes off expression, or runs away with itself. Calmness, evenness, poise, the easy control that comes from a degree of relaxation, without loss of buoyancy,—these are the conditions for good accomplishment of any kind. This self-mastery the high-strung, ardent spirit must learn, in order to become really strong. This is accomplished, in the case of a nervous temperament, not by tightening up and trying hard, but by relaxing, by letting down. In the use of these passages the voice will be set at first ...
— Public Speaking • Irvah Lester Winter

... the Stalwarts would be sufficient to re-elect them. This would liberate him from a promise and strengthen both with a legislative endorsement. It was neither an intrepid nor an exalted proposition, but Conkling accepted it. Perhaps his nature required a relief from its high-strung irritability in some sort of violence, and resignation backed by the assurance that he would soon be restored to office and to greater power on the shoulders of the party offered the seductive form which that violence ...
— A Political History of the State of New York, Volumes 1-3 • DeAlva Stanwood Alexander

... she was hard upon the girl, by such exactions as midnight reading and loss of sleep. She demanded not merely physical but mental energy—a complete submission of both; and when this occurred with a sensitive, high-strung girl, she was literally feeding on another's life- blood. If she had been told this, she, no doubt, would ...
— The Judgment House • Gilbert Parker

... nice-mannered everybody liked him. Him and Anne were a fine-looking couple, Nora May. Not but what they had their shortcomings. Anne's nose was a mite too long and Gil had a crooked mouth. Besides, they was both pretty proud and sperrited and high-strung. ...
— Lucy Maud Montgomery Short Stories, 1905 to 1906 • Lucy Maud Montgomery

... high standing in his profession and extremely intelligent, 49 years of age, married and father of a large family. He is sexually vigorous and of erotic temperament. His general health has always been good, but he is a high-strung, neurotic man, with quick mental reactions. His habits had for a long time been decidedly alcoholic, but two years ago, a small quantity of albumen being found in the urine, he was persuaded to leave off alcohol, and has since been a teetotaller. ...
— Studies in the Psychology of Sex, Volume 5 (of 6) • Havelock Ellis

... have gained something of indifference! Could his senses, his jangled, shattered nerves, his bruised and bleeding pride, have acquired that callousness of stupidity, how well would it have been with him! But Ivan was Ivan still: high-strung, keenly apperceptive and receptive; his spiritual, like his physical, nerves, alive to every emotion, every pain or pleasure that rose up into his present. Only to a certain natural extent had he changed. The sudden violent revolutions ...
— The Genius • Margaret Horton Potter

... everything except color. Lloyd's eyes were black; Paul's were blue. Under stress of excitement, the blood coursed olive in the face of Lloyd, crimson in the face of Paul. But outside this matter of coloring they were as like as two peas. Both were high-strung, prone to excessive tension and endurance, and ...
— Moon-Face and Other Stories • Jack London

... say he was a hypocrite?" she cried. "He is worse than that; at least, more really dangerous. It is these high-strung sentimentalists who do all the mischief; who play on their own lovely emotions, forsooth, till they wear out those fine fiddlestrings, and then have nothing left but the flesh and the D. Don't ...
— Malbone - An Oldport Romance • Thomas Wentworth Higginson

... Friday, I think. He'd been laid off for a day or so and I thought he'd gone a bit fine, although he's rather too phlegmatic to suffer much from nerves. Some of the high-strung chaps do go to pieces about this time and you have to nurse them along pretty carefully. But Gilbert! Well, on Saturday—yes, that was the day—he'd been reported perfectly fit by the trainer and just as a matter of form I asked him if he was ready to play. ...
— Left Guard Gilbert • Ralph Henry Barbour

... Probably only a very small proportion of these girls are strong enough physically or nervously to meet the growing demands of the schools. They may do well for a time, some of them unusually well, for it is the sensitive, high-strung organism that is appreciative and effective. After a while the worry and fret of the requirements and the constant nag of the schoolroom have their effect upon those who are foredoomed to failure in that particular field. The plight ...
— The Untroubled Mind • Herbert J. Hall

... to talk." Terry's voice was high-strung and emphatic. "You can't talk and drive—and you've got to drive ...
— The Kingdom Round the Corner - A Novel • Coningsby Dawson

... Aunt Elizabeth, she is lovely sometimes, and the way she remembers things that happened when she was young is simply wonderful. She knows how girls feel, too, and how they suffer when they are like Dr. Denbigh says I am—very nervous and sensitive and high-strung. But she admitted to me to-day that she had never before really made up her mind whether I am the "sweet, unsophisticated child" she calls me, or what Tom Price says I am, The Eastridge Animated and Undaunted Daily Bugle and Clarion Call. He calls me that because I know so much about what is going ...
— The Whole Family - A Novel by Twelve Authors • William Dean Howells, Mary E. Wilkins Freeman, Mary Heaton Vorse, Mary Stewart Cutting, Elizabeth Jo

... allers bed quite a parcel o' sympathy for Eph," said a short, thickset coasting captain, who sat tilted back in a three-legged chair, smoking lazily. "You see, he wa'n't but about twenty-one or two then, and he was allus a mighty high-strung boy; and then Eliphalet did act putty ha'sh, foreclosin' on Eph's mother, and turnin' her out o' the farm, in winter, when everybody knew she could ha' pulled through by waitin'. Eph sot great store by the old lady, and I expect he was putty ...
— Stories by American Authors, Volume 6 • Various

... is of special value in sensitive, high-strung, nervous women of the "higher classes," who so habitually shun the rigors of child bearing—especially in the instance of ...
— The Mother and Her Child • William S. Sadler

... this feeling of hot impotence when he retreated from Mary-Clare. For so vital and high-strung a woman, Mary-Clare could at critical moments be absolutely negative, to all appearances. Where another might show weakness or violence, she seemed to close all the windows and doors of her being, leaving her attacker in the outer darkness with nothing to ...
— At the Crossroads • Harriet T. Comstock

... supposed—by his unfortunate wife at least—to have been the scion of a proud and aristocratic family, who had not been too proud, however, to leave her to starve. Altogether, Miss Husted was an exceedingly romantic, high-strung, middle-aged spinster, miles and miles above her station in life, whose heart and purse were open to any foreigner who had discernment enough to see her weakness and tact enough to pander to it by hinting at his noble lineage. ...
— The Music Master - Novelized from the Play • Charles Klein

... of anything now, and that's one thing that is the trouble. You know what a proud, high-strung chap he always was. Well, he's up against it, and it has completely ...
— Frank Merriwell's Pursuit - How to Win • Burt L. Standish

... people of Massachusetts, were the state-house on Beacon hill suddenly occupied by Italian, Polish and Russian laborers,—placed and kept there by a foreign conqueror. Add to the comparison the prouder height of the slaveholder, and the lower depth of his serf. Put this as the case of a people high-strung and sensitive, still fresh from the passion of war, still smarting from defeat. They had fought to exhaustion, and their banner had fallen without disgrace. Now the victors who had won by superiority of force had placed their late bondmen as their ...
— The Negro and the Nation - A History of American Slavery and Enfranchisement • George S. Merriam

... article of dress is called—and in one hand he held a closely plaited, stinging black "quirt." He wore a plaid shirt and cotton handkerchief around his neck. That describes the man who rode Rollo first—and no wonder the spirited, high-strung colt was suspicious of saddles, men, and things. I watched the man as he rode away. His horse was going at a furious gallop, with ears turned back, as if expecting whip or spur any instant, and the ...
— Army Letters from an Officer's Wife, 1871-1888 • Frances M.A. Roe

... Wingfield came up over the ledge, a pine tassel in his hand, his languor of other days transformed into high-strung, triumphant intensity, the sparkle of a splendid hope in his eyes, only Firio was there ...
— Over the Pass • Frederick Palmer

... great many high-strung sensitive men are utterly cast down because they have failed to acquire wealth by the time they are forty-five or fifty years ...
— How to Eat - A Cure for "Nerves" • Thomas Clark Hinkle

... him the benefit of another long pause and studied him more closely. He saw that this bereaved husband was of the high-strung, Southern-gentleman type, hot-tempered, impulsive, one of those apt to believe that "shooting" is the remedy for one's personal ills or injuries. The lines of his mouth betrayed selfishness ...
— The Winning Clue • James Hay, Jr.

... indignation. Slavery was always the cause of the latter, and for the others ample reason was to be found in what she styled the vain lusts of the world, and in the coldness and irritability of some members of the family. Unrestrained self-indulgence, joined to high-strung and undisciplined tempers, made of what should have been a united, bright, and charming home circle, a place of constant ...
— The Grimke Sisters - Sarah and Angelina Grimke: The First American Women Advocates of - Abolition and Woman's Rights • Catherine H. Birney

... at all ill-pleased with himself, he strutted off to a table at which a high-strung session of chemin-de-fer was in process, possessed himself of a vacant chair, and in two minutes was so engrossed in the game that the ...
— The Lone Wolf - A Melodrama • Louis Joseph Vance

... hour-glass shaped, nearly legless, bunched here, constricted there; slow of movement, and given to deprecating lusty action of limb. Here was a revelation! From henceforth our imaginations would have to be revised and corrected up to date. In one of those swift rushes the mind makes in high-strung moments, I saw myself and Coralie, close enfolded, pacing the world together, o'er hill and plain, through storied cities, past rows of applauding relations,—I in my Sunday knickerbockers, she in ...
— Dream Days • Kenneth Grahame

... its peace, Sabina erred again and praised Miss Ironsyde. In truth, she was not at her best to-night and her excitement acted unfavourably on Raymond. He fought against his own emotions, and listened to her high-strung chatter and plans for the future. A torrent of blame had better suited the contrite mood in which she met him; but she took the blame on her own shoulders, and in her relief ...
— The Spinners • Eden Phillpotts

... queerly to-day, little Netty," he began, after a short pause. "My nerves are all high-strung with the turn ...
— Little Classics, Volume 8 (of 18) - Mystery • Various

... something was done to keep from this high-strung nation a drug so deadly. Clear-minded medical men have recommended its exclusion from the country, believing that its use medicinally should be foregone rather than that such a cursed temptation should be placed in the way ...
— Alcohol: A Dangerous and Unnecessary Medicine, How and Why - What Medical Writers Say • Martha M. Allen

... deleterious manner. The patients belonging to this group are, as a rule, old offenders, who have long been hardened to crime, and whose entire life is an uninterrupted chain of conflicts with the law. To this group also belong those high-strung individuals with early antisocial tendencies, who from childhood show a marked degree of egotism and self-love; who are very vindictive and revengeful in their reaction to frictions in social life. Upon falling into the hands of the law, they are incapable ...
— Studies in Forensic Psychiatry • Bernard Glueck

... though calmer, was too weak to leave her bed, and her doctor prescribed rest and absence of worry—later, perhaps, a change of scene. He explained to Ralph that nothing was so wearing to a high-strung nature as monotony, and that if Mrs. Marvell were contemplating a Newport season it was necessary that she should be fortified to meet it. In such cases he often recommended a dash to Paris or London, just to tone ...
— The Custom of the Country • Edith Wharton

... stood at Susanna's threshold, looking into her antechamber, breathless almost with his sense of her imminence;—and then the tall flunkey said, in the fastidious accents of flunkeydom, "Net et em, sir;" and all my hero's high-strung emotion must spend itself in the depositing ...
— The Lady Paramount • Henry Harland

... I heard you play the violin at a concert! Oh, if I could tell you the raptures that thrilled my soul at the floods of melody you drew from the insensate strings! Only a poet's spirit, only a high-strung heart could accomplish such strains! I, too, am of a musical spirit; I, too, thrill to the notes of the great masters, if interpreted as they are by you! May I hope that you will not spurn this outburst of a sympathetic nature, and accept this tribute to your genius? Could I look for a line,—just ...
— Patty's Suitors • Carolyn Wells

... east, when the trip was half over. As the engine came in sight, the little girl urged the mare to a slow gallop, and, as the cow-catcher got abreast, gave her a sharp cut that sent her forward beside the train. And so swift was the high-strung horse that she was never left behind until a long stretch of road had been covered. The little girl liked best, however, to start the race at the outer edge of the broad meadow that lay west of ...
— The Biography of a Prairie Girl • Eleanor Gates

... know you always want to engineer a chap your own way and make him do just as you wish. The man who has the happiness of marrying you, Stephen, will have a hard row to hoe!' His 'chaff' with its utter want of refinement seemed to her, in her high-strung earnest condition, nothing short of brutal, and for a few seconds produced a feeling of repellence. But it is in the nature of things that opposition of any kind arouses the fighting instinct of a naturally ...
— The Man • Bram Stoker

... her pose; and that she had jumped at the chance of getting him. But I always stuck up for her—and I know that she did it for the sake of her family, who were all as poor as poor, and were dependent on her after her father went to smash in his business. She was always as high-strung and romantic as she could be, but I don't believe that even then she would have taken Mr. Strange if there had been anybody else. I don't suppose any one else ever looked at her, for the young men are pretty sharp nowadays, ...
— Through the Eye of the Needle - A Romance • W. D. Howells

... still wore that expression of intense and high-strung energy, which showed me that some novel and suggestive circumstance had opened up a stimulating line of thought. See the foxhound with hanging ears and drooping tail as it lolls about the kennels, and ...
— The Adventure of the Bruce-Partington Plans • Arthur Conan Doyle

... whose name often finds a loving place in these pages. She and Sandy dwelt together in peace and amity, although the little doggie never could have felt any affection for her selfish companion. Rose's nerves were of a delicate and high-strung order, and there was nothing she hated so much as uproarious noise. Every now and then it chanced that during a few days of wet or windy weather, our little house had been filled by passing guests: gentlemen who had called in to ask for supper and a bed, intending to ...
— Station Amusements • Lady Barker

... miniature gridiron, his days in careful coaching. He had taken a huge, ungainly Nova Scotian lad named Ringold for centre; he had placed a square-jawed, tow-headed boy from Duluth in the line; he had selected a high-strung, unseasoned chap, who for two years had been eating his heart out on the side-lines, and ...
— The Ne'er-Do-Well • Rex Beach

... dare go to Myra until he was sure of himself. It seemed that he would have to choose between woman and work. It seemed as if his work would lead into peril, dirt, disaster, and that he could not ask a delicate, high-strung woman to go with him. The woman could not follow her warrior to the battle, for marriage meant children to Joe, and the little ones must stay back at home with ...
— The Nine-Tenths • James Oppenheim

... this sort told on them inescapably, and both being, unfortunately, of a rather high-strung intelligence and youth, recognized it, no matter how much consciousness might deny it, and wondered sometimes, rather pitiably, why they couldn't be always at one temperature, like lovers in poetry, and why either should ever worry or hurt the other when they loved. Any middle-aged ...
— Young People's Pride • Stephen Vincent Benet

... all the high-strung poets and singers departed, Mother of all the grass that weaves over their graves the glory of the field, Mother of all the manifold forms of life, deep- bosomed, patient, impassive, Silent brooder and nurse of lyrical joys and sor- rows! Out of thee, yea, surely out of the fertile depth below ...
— The White Bees • Henry Van Dyke

... lady boarders, the wife of a senator, treated her with marked coolness; and these various circumstances so worked on her high-strung temperament that she was thrown into an uncontrollable fit of passion, during which she broke ...
— The Expressman and the Detective • Allan Pinkerton

... A high-strung, ambitious fellow like Carl needed no incentive to make him work hard or to keep him out of mischief, any more than he needed a prize to make him do his best at tennis or keep him from cheating in the score. What an ignoble ...
— How To Write Special Feature Articles • Willard Grosvenor Bleyer

... iron pattens on her feet and her clothes tucked up, mopping the floor of the shop; but in the afternoon much more genteelly attired in silks of an ancient fashion. Mr. Brown was a very quiet, inoffensive person, the wife a little high-strung. It is certain that they had occasional domestic bickerings, perhaps about the young man in the knee-breeches; for on one occasion it is alleged that the old matron was overheard to address her spouse, with a slightly ...
— Old New England Traits • Anonymous

... appropriately, the International Society for the Suppression of Savage Customs had intrusted him with the making of a report, for its future guidance. And he had written it, too. I've seen it. I've read it. It was eloquent, vibrating with eloquence, but too high-strung, I think. Seventeen pages of close writing he had found time for! But this must have been before his—let us say—nerves, went wrong, and caused him to preside at certain midnight dances ending with unspeakable rites, which—as far as I reluctantly gathered from what I heard at various times—were ...
— Heart of Darkness • Joseph Conrad

... all in black, and so was her daughter, whom she led by the hand. Mrs. Gaunt's face was pale, and sad, and stern,—a monument of deep suffering and high-strung resolution. ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 17, No. 104, June, 1866 • Various

... they were fleecin' a stranger an' I broke into the game, winnin' all they had. The game ended in a fight, with bloodshed, but nobody killed. That set Spencer an' his pard Cap against me. The stranger was a planter from Louisiana. He'd been an officer in the rebel army. A high-strung, handsome Southerner, fond of wine an' cards an' women. Well, he got to payin' my wife a good deal of attention when I was away, which happened to be often. She never told me. ...
— The Mysterious Rider • Zane Grey

... said the Tinker in my ear. "This is a day to remember, this is a—my soul!" he exclaimed and fell suddenly mute as a gorgeous person in powder and silk stockings entered, bearing tea upon a silver tray; a somewhat nervous and high-strung person he seemed, for catching sudden vision of the grimy Tinker's shock head and my shirt sleeves, his protuberant eyes took on a glassy look, he gulped audibly, his knees bent and he set down his ...
— Peregrine's Progress • Jeffery Farnol

... be too careful," remarked Mrs. White, sententiously. "The world's full of gossiping people, and women are very impressionable, especially such high-strung women as that young widow. A man can't possibly be too careful. Read me ...
— Mercy Philbrick's Choice • Helen Hunt Jackson



Words linked to "High-strung" :   tense



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