Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Legal, Encyclopedia.
Persistently anxious and easily startled or upset. Primarily heard in UK, Australia. I've never met anyone so highly-strung. She gasps every time the phone rings.
Persistently anxious and easily startled or upset. Primarily heard in US. I've never met anyone so high-strung. She gasps every time the phone rings.
string (one) up
To kill someone by hanging them from their neck. The sheriff told us he'd string us all up if we ever showed our faces in town again. My great-great-grandfather was strung up for his involvement in the rebellion.
string (something) out
1. Literally, to stretch, unwind, or extend something. Be sure to string out the lights and check that each bulb is working before you hang them up on the side of the house. He strung out the power cable so that it would reach the back yard.
2. By extension, to prolong, delay, or make longer than usual or necessary. He kept stringing out the negotiations in an attempt to get more money out of the deal for himself. I hate the way they string the finales of these singing competition shows out to try and build suspense.
1. Experiencing severe stress, anxiety, or emotional exhaustion. Sorry for shouting at you, I'm just a bit strung out lately. I haven't been getting much sleep since our baby was born. I could tell she was strung out from the heavy workload she'd taken on.
2. Bewildered, incoherent, or unresponsive due to drug use or addiction, especially heroin. Jane's so strung out on pills that she can't even remember where she is. Jim's really strung out lately. I wonder if he's using again?
string something out
1. Lit. to unwind, stretch, or straighten something, such as wire, and extend it. The workers strung the wires out before installing them. They strung out the wires first.
2. Fig. to cause something to take more time than it ought to. Is there any good reason to string this meeting out any longer? Don't string out the meetings so long.
1. extended in time; overly long. Why was that lecture so strung out? She talked and talked. It was strung out because there was very little to be said.
2. Sl. doped or drugged. Bob acted very strangely—as if he were strung out or something. I've never seen Bob or any of his friends strung out.
1. Stretch, extend; also, prolong. For example, The parade strung out for miles, or The meetings strung out over weeks instead of days. [First half of 1800s]
2. strung out. Addicted to, stupefied by, or debilitated by drug use, as in She was completely strung out when they found her. [Second half of 1900s]
1. To make something longer than usual or necessary; prolong something: The prosecution strung out the trial hoping to get the time to gather more evidence. We've already said everything that needs to be said in this conversation, so why do you keep trying to string it out?
2. To spread out in a line. Used in the passive: From the plane, we could see small villages that were strung out along the coast.
3. Slang To become intoxicated, especially with an addictive opiate or stimulant. Used in the passive: He was so strung out that he couldn't talk. People started to suspect that the athlete was strung out on coke or booze, or both.
1. and strung (up) mod. drug intoxicated and bewildered. (Drugs.) Marlon is really strung out lately. What’s he shooting now?
2. mod. badly addicted to heroin; dissipated by heroin. (Drugs.) Clare is strung out and can’t deny her problem any longer.
3. mod. depressed; nervous. I’m a little strung out—because of the accident, I guess.
4. mod. in love and disoriented. Sam is strung out over Mary.
See strung out
See also: strung
n. a tired and exhausted condition. They were sort of in strung-out shape, tired and ready for the sack.
See also: shape