1

sublime

play
verb sub·lime \sə-ˈblīm\

Definition of sublime

sublimed

;

subliming

  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) (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

sublime vs. sublimate

At first glance, the question of whether sublime and sublimate are related might seem like an easy one to answer, as they appear to come from the same source. However, the most common senses in which each of these words is used today are dissimilar enough to give pause. The two words are indeed related, and in some senses are in fact synonymous. Both share the meaning “to cause to pass directly from the solid to the vapor state and condense back to solid form,” although this is not widely used except among chemists. Sublime was first used as a verb with the above meaning, and after a century or two of such use took on the adjectival role in which it is often found today (“the concert was a sublime experience”). Sublimate has had several meanings as a verb (including “to elevate to a place of honor” and “to give a more elevated character to”) before coming to its common meaning today, which is “to divert the expression of (an instinctual desire or impulse) from its unacceptable form to one that is considered more socially or culturally acceptable.”

Origin and Etymology of sublime

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


First Known Use: 14th century


2

sublime

play
adjective sub·lime \sə-ˈblīm\

Definition of sublime

sublimer

;

sublimest

  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 and Etymology 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 English Language Learners


2

sublime

play
adjective sub·lime \sə-ˈblīm\

Definition of sublime for English Language Learners

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

  • : complete or extreme


SUBLIME Defined for Kids

sublime

play
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

sublime

play
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



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