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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 hang one, typically until death. 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.
1. Literally, to stretch, unwind, or extend something, typically a string or cord of some kind. 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 to build suspense.
1. Suffering from 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. Suffering from the adverse effects of drug use or addiction, especially heroin. Even if you didn't see the track marks on his arm, you could tell he was strung out just by looking at his eyes. Jane's so strung out on pills that she can't even remember where she is.
1. To choose or be allowed to accompany or follow someone. I decided to string along and see if they found anything interesting. Do you mind if my little brother strings along with us? My parents want him to get out of the house for a while.
2. To participate or cooperate in an activity or scheme. I'm sorry, but I just can't string along with this. It's wrong. The accountant was sentenced to five years in prison for stringing along with the organized crime syndicate.
3. To act in accordance or agreement with someone else or their actions. If the cops show up at the house because the party's too loud, just string along with whatever I say. I don't know how you convinced the board to string along, but they've approved your proposal.
4. To cause someone to remain in a state of uncertainty or expectation, usually to achieve some end. I feel like they've been stringing us along so that we'll agree to the lower price just to have the deal finished. She's not stringing you along, Jim—she's just being your friend, but you're trying to pretend there's a chance she likes you romantically.
1. Literally, to connect a series of things together on or like a string. A noun or pronoun can be used between "string" and "together." Help me string these letters together for Sarah's "Happy Birthday" sign. The children strung together flowers into rudimentary wreaths.
2. To compose, assemble, or arrange something in a series, especially in a quick, sloppy, or haphazard manner. A noun or pronoun can be used between "string" and "together." Just because you can string together a pretentious, academic-sounding words doesn't make you a scholar. Their presentation was just a bunch of random photos strung together.
3. To create something by assembling or arranging something in a series, especially in a quick, sloppy, or haphazard manner. A noun or pronoun can be used between "string" and "together." They began to worry when their son turned six and could still barely string a sentence together. You can tell he just strung together the report from a bunch of different financial statements at the last minute.
string along(with someone)
1. to follow with someone. Do you mind if I string along with you? I don't mind if you string along.
2. to agree with someone's policies and actions. Okay. I will string along with you this time, but I don't know about the future. I would appreciate it if you would string along just this one time.
string someone along
to maintain someone's attention or interest, probably insincerely. You are just stringing me along because you like to borrow my car. You are not a real friend. Rachel strung her along for the sake of old times.
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.
string something together
to connect things, such as beads, together, as with string. I spent all afternoon stringing beads together. My pearls broke and I had to take them to a jeweler to have them strung together again.
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. Go along with someone, accompany or follow, as in I decided to string along with them, just to see what might happen. [Colloquial; first half of 1900s]
2. Agree, as in We knew that three committee members would string along with us for now. [Colloquial; first half of 1900s]
3. string someone along. Keep someone waiting or in a state of uncertainty; also, fool or deceive someone. For example, We were stringing them along, hoping that we'd get a better offer, or She was in tears when she found out that he'd just been stringing her along. [Colloquial; c. 1900]
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]
Compose, assemble, as in There's more to devising an effective slogan than stringing together some words. This expression alludes to threading beads on a string. [First half of 1800s]
1. To keep someone waiting or in a state of uncertainty: The company strung along the job candidate for two weeks before hiring someone else. After I proposed, my girlfriend strung me along for a month before rejecting me.
2. To fool, cheat, or deceive someone: I am worried that they have no intentions of buying the house at all, but are just stringing us along. The con artist strung along the tourists for an hour before they caught on.
3. To agree; go along: They strung along with the plan despite its obvious flaws.
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. To arrange something in a string or series: This sentence makes no sense—you've just strung a bunch of words together at random! They worked all night stringing the flowers together to make those garlands.
2. To produce something by arranging in a string or series: I was able to string together a flimsy excuse for my chronic lateness. How do you expect to be a successful lawyer when you can barely string an argument together?
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