Definition of highly strung in English:

highly strung


  • Very nervous and easily upset.

    ‘highly strung horses’
    • ‘And as you can imagine, the more highly strung a horse is, the harder it is to get them to stay still and jump over large obstacles without knocking them down.’
    • ‘He is a highly strung, frequently petulant man.’
    • ‘I'm highly strung, I can't sleep because of the stress and it's generally having a huge negative influence on me as a person.’
    • ‘They all seem far too highly strung to be spies.’
    • ‘Nora Ross plays Alice's highly strung daughter Barbara, who arrives for the birthday celebrations with her henpecked husband Cormac in tow.’
    • ‘Highly intelligent individuals tend to be over-sensitive to the pin-pricks of the world, and often highly strung as well.’
    • ‘They're also having to give her sleeping pills and all the rest of it, because Kimberly is very highly strung.’
    • ‘Dick's parents split and he was brought up by his highly strung mother, who got him hooked on his most permanent and incurable addiction - Jungian therapy.’
    • ‘His highly strung equine patients accept his ministrations with untypical docility and rarely lash out.’
    • ‘Angelo is a late twentysomething drifter, living with his highly strung Italian immigrant family in Montreal.’
    • ‘She is highly strung, manic, and surprisingly inarticulate for a university graduate.’
    • ‘Like Paula, he is highly strung and not always the calming influence that his wife needs to steady her ship from time to time.’
    • ‘‘I wanted the character to be someone who had a real capacity to be a loving and supportive person but was also a little tightly wound and highly strung,’ says Lonergan.’
    • ‘This is a calm sport, which means there is no room for highly strung or excitable people.’
    • ‘From a Wiltshire gentry family at Wolf Hall, which the king visited in September 1535, she was said to be quiet and amiable, while Anne was growing more highly strung and imperious.’
    • ‘To say he's highly strung is an understatement.’
    • ‘I can't work for someone so highly strung and hot-tempered’.’
    • ‘Francesca Arena plays the highly strung pop diva with verve.’
    • ‘Sam can be hysterical and highly strung, as well as soft-hearted and sweet.’
    • ‘Lily was too skinny, and she was highly strung, and too interested in what other people thought of her.’
    nervous, excitable, temperamental, sensitive, unstable, brittle, easily upset, easily agitated, on edge, edgy, jumpy, keyed up, irritable, fidgety, restive, restless, anxious, overanxious, tense, taut, stressed, overwrought, neurotic
    uptight, twitchy, wired, wound up, het up
    strung up, stressy
    View synonyms


highly strung

/ˌhʌɪli ˈstrʌŋ/