- to have an important standing in society
- a higher-ranking person in any organization, group or society
- to be regarded as an influential person in an organisation
- With the way he barked orders at the workers, everyone got the impression that he is high up in the company.
- Given his close friendship with the president, Mark is regarded as being high up.
- It's easy to be mistaken for someone who is high up in society if you dress well, drive a flashy car and attend every social event.
- It is Amanda's goal to be one day recognised by everyone as someone who is high up in society.
- Prisca likes attending events hosted by the crème de la crème just so people can think that she is also high up in the community.
This phrase was commonly used in the old aristocratic England where people are commonly ranked as if on a ladder of success. So for people who were considered to be the elites or top aristocrats, they are said to be high up on the ladder. As time went on, this phrase made its way into everyday use to include people who are very successful either in society or in a particular organisation.