high-water mark

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high-water mark

The line on shore marked by the reach of the medium tide and which usually determines the boundary between private property and public property. Some jurisdictions limit private property to the shoreline, which is the highest reach of the waves inward to the land.

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References in classic literature ?
Yet there stands that fact unrepeated, a high-water mark in military history.
I believe that any man's life will be filled with constant, unexpected encouragements of this kind if he makes up his mind to do his level best each day of his life--that is, tries to make each day reach as nearly as possible the high-water mark of pure, unselfish, useful living.
But it's not about the destination; it's the journey - and the mighty fall of Lear from the pomp of a king to a destitute beggar is one of the high-water marks of drama.