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verb, sub·lime \sə-ˈblīm\

Definition of sublime


  1. transitive verb
  2. 1 :  to cause to pass directly from the solid to the vapor state and condense back to solid form

  3. 2 [French sublimer, from Latin sublimare] a (1) :  to elevate or exalt especially in dignity or honor (2) :  to render finer (as in purity or excellence)b :  to convert (something inferior) into something of higher worth

  4. intransitive verb
  5. :  to pass directly from the solid to the vapor state

sublimable play \-ˈblī-mə-bəl\ adjective
sublimer noun

Examples of sublime in a sentence

  1. … models indicate that frost in most of the southern hemisphere is currently subliming, thinning the surface deposits. —William B. McKinnon et al., Encyclopedia Of The Solar System, 1999

  2. The cursory remarks of the large-minded stranger, of whom he knew absolutely nothing beyond a commonplace name, were sublimed by his death, and influenced Clare more than all the reasoned ethics of the philosophers. —Thomas Hardy, Tess of the D'Urbervilles, 1891

Origin of sublime

Middle English, from Middle French sublimer, from Medieval Latin sublimare to refine, sublime, from Latin, to elevate, from sublimis

First Known Use: 14th century



adjective, sub·lime \sə-ˈblīm\

Simple Definition of sublime

  • : very beautiful or good : causing strong feelings of admiration or wonder

  • : complete or extreme

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of sublime


  1. 1a :  lofty, grand, or exalted in thought, expression, or mannerb :  of outstanding spiritual, intellectual, or moral worthc :  tending to inspire awe usually because of elevated quality (as of beauty, nobility, or grandeur) or transcendent excellence

  2. 2a archaic :  high in placeb obsolete :  lofty of mien :  haughtyc capitalized :  supreme —used in a style of addressd :  complete, utter <sublime ignorance>

sublimely adverb
sublimeness noun

Examples of sublime in a sentence

  1. New Orleans is not just a list of attractions or restaurants or ceremonies, no matter how sublime and subtle. New Orleans is the interaction among all those things, and countless more. —Tom Piazza, Why New Orleans Matters, 2005

  2. Judging by the satisfied look that settles on both men's faces, the meal was sublime. —Kathleen Brennan, Saveur, November 2004

  3. Even when he is paying homage to her sublime beauty, he cannot resist inserting himself as the man responsible for unleashing that beauty's potency. —Zoë Heller, New Republic, 21 May 2001

  4. He composed some of the most sublime symphonies in existence.

  5. the sublime beauty of the canyon

Origin of sublime

Latin sublimis, literally, high, elevated

First Known Use: circa 1567

Synonym Discussion of sublime

splendid, resplendent, gorgeous, glorious, sublime, superb mean extraordinarily or transcendently impressive. splendid implies outshining the usual or customary <the wedding was a splendid occasion>. resplendent suggests a glowing or blazing splendor <resplendent in her jewelry>. gorgeous implies a rich splendor especially in display of color <a gorgeous red dress>. glorious suggests radiance that heightens beauty or distinction <a glorious sunset>. sublime implies an exaltation or elevation almost beyond human comprehension <a vision of sublime beauty>. superb suggests an excellence reaching the highest conceivable degree <her singing was superb>.

SUBLIME Defined for Kids


adjective sub·lime \sə-ˈblīm\

Definition of sublime for Students

  1. 1 :  grand or noble in thought, expression, or manner <sublime truths>

  2. 2 :  beautiful or impressive enough to arouse a feeling of admiration and wonder <sublime scenery>

Medical Dictionary


verb sub·lime \sə-ˈblīm\

Medical Definition of sublime

sublimed; subliming

  1. transitive verb

  2. :  to cause to pass from the solid to the vapor state by heating and to condense back to solid form

  3. intransitive verb

  4. :  to pass directly from the solid to the vapor state

Seen and Heard

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