- (uncountable, idiomatic) A point in time at which something desirable or necessary is considered to be utterly due or even overdue to occur.
1820, Sir Walter Scott, chapter 21, in The Abbot:
- "I will await no longer," said Lindesay; "it is high time the business were done."
1851, Herman Melville, chapter 3, in Moby Dick:
- I thought it was high time, now or never, before the light was put out, to break the spell in which I had so long been bound.
1922, P. G. Wodehouse, chapter 22, in Right Ho, Jeeves:
- "But I haven't ridden for years."
- "Then it's high time you began again."
- 2006 May 9, Hassan Rohani, "Iran's Nuclear Program: The Way Out," Time:
- It is high time to cease sensationalism and war mongering, pause and think twice about where we are heading.
- (countable, idiomatic) A very enjoyable or exciting experience or period of time.
1912, L. Frank Baum, chapter 25, in Sky Island:
- [T]here's going to be a high time in the Blue City tonight. We'll have music and dancing and eating.
- 1916, Jack London, "When Alice Told Her Soul" in On the Makaloa Mat: Island Tales:
- For Alice had lived, from early in her girlhood, a life of flowers, and song, and wine, and dance. . . . And her tight tongue had served her well . . . . [N]one ever heard her gossip of the times of Kalakaua's boathouse, nor of the high times of officers of visiting warships.
- 2000 Dec. 11, Richard Corliss, "Cinema: Better Than Tabloid Tattle" (film review of Proof of Life), Time:
- [T]he film intelligently deploys familiar thriller elements: chases; shoot-outs; high-level duplicity; terse, sassy dialogue; and a cast having a high time playing preening villains and wily good guys.
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