American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. A corrupt politician.
- n. A member of a Chinese-American secret society of paid assassins and blackmailers.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. A bold, roystering rowdy; an insolent ruffian; one of a gang which commits outrages on persons or property “for fun.” Highbinders, so called, were known in New York, Baltimore, and other cities before 1849. In that year and subsequently they became familiar in California, where at present the name is used only as in the next definition.
- n. A member of a Chinese secret society, band, or gang, said to exist in California and other parts of the United States, associated for blackmailing purposes, and even for assassination, in the interest and pay of other societies or individuals.
- Supremely happy.
- n. US, obsolete A ruffian, especially one of a gang.
- n. US, obsolete A member of one of several Chinese criminal gangs associated with illegal immigration and prostitution.
- n. US, dated A swindler, especially a corrupt politician.
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. United States A ruffian; one who hounds, or spies upon, another; app. esp. to the members of certain alleged societies among the Chinese.
- n. a corrupt politician
- From a nativist gang that flourished in New York City in the early 19th century, possibly an alteration of hide + binder (Wiktionary)
- After the Highbinders, a group of ruffians in New York City c. 1806. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“It may be that the Chinese 'highbinder' has a discrete origin: thus Asbury _Barbary Coast_ 1933 185: 'The _boo how doy_, popularly known as hatchetmen or highbinders, received regular salaries, with extra pay for exceptional bravery in battle.”
“The Senator is just not the highbinder you may have imagined.”
“Ah Sing in the swelling of commendable pride, at having outwitted the most notorious highbinder in Chinatown, built him a house that was quite large enough to swing a cat in, and as gorgeous inside as a joss house, and quite as dingy without, with the wisdom of Confucius done in very large characters on very red paper pasted all about the front door.”
“After that no self-respecting highbinder could hold up his head.”
“The highbinder, evincing not the slightest irritation at his failures, changed the method of attack.”
“I explained that a highbinder ranked with a professional murderer in this country, whereupon she again laughed, and, turning to General ----, in a loud voice said, "General, I have been calling the ---- a highbinder," at which the company laughed at my expense.”
“And twelve for Tessie, and eight for this highbinder on my knee, here!”
“Give the good dope a chance: it'll only need a moment, or I'm no judge and you're a careless highbinder!”
“Remember, Mawruss, you got to tell him that as a partner I am a crank and a regular highbinder.”
“Takes one of these old-fashioned beer bottles with patent stoppers, fills it up with unslaked lime, pours in a little water, stops it up, drops it in a likely looking trout pool, and in one minute it explodes as good as something made by a Russian patriot; all the trout in the pool are knocked out and float on the surface, where this old highbinder gathers 'em in.”
These user-created lists contain the word ‘highbinder’.
A list of words that are odd or words that I have looked up.
Names for the next generation of My Little Ponies. Inspired by Star's list.
A poor pathetic thing, but mine own.
insults, epithets, etc.
Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?
For stuff to simply reside.
Yarb has a Jewett list too.
Looking for tweets for highbinder.