| Definition - The general name for all non-High-Germanic dialects of German — including English, Dutch, and Frisian.
1. High German is the contemporary German dialect that prevails in media, literature, religion, education, and commerce. It was so called because it was originally the version of German spoken in high (i.e. southern) Germany.
Oxford English Dictionary - Its first citation is from 1838:
"The German or Teutonic language may be divided into two great branches … the High German, or the language of Southern Germany; and the Low German, or Saxon."
(Penny Cycl. XI. 192 )