So I wrote:

Bennett’s ad hoc relief policies were based on the premise that the depression was a temporary, seasonal phenomenon; he was confident that unemployment would soon return to its usual levels (Ulmer 2009; Struthers 1983). By the end of 1932, however, unemployment had risen to an unprecedented height.

By "height" I wanted to mean "level": a really high rate. But I am not sure if the word can be used this way. I don't want to use level again as I used it in the previous sentence.

Collins says:

Singular noun: When an activity, situation, or organization is at its height, it is at its most successful, powerful, or intense. All examples include "at".

Plural noun: If something reaches great heights, it becomes very extreme or intense.

Cambridge says:

the height of sth: the time when a situation or event is strongest or most full of activity.

Example: August is the height of the tourist season. At the height of the violence/crisis we were left without any help.

  • I may use something easy! ".....had risen to peak...."
    – Maulik V
    Sep 26, 2018 at 5:37

1 Answer 1


It is in reference to an economic trend.

Such trends are often recorded on line graphs with an x-axis and y-axis, so increases are referred to as vertical. “High” and “low” are common terms to describe trends like this.

In your case, there were large numbers of unemployment. So yes, you can absolutely use the word this way.

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