subliminal

adjective
sub·​lim·​i·​nal | \ (ˌ)sə-ˈbli-mə-nᵊl How to pronounce subliminal (audio) \

Definition of subliminal

1 : inadequate to produce a sensation or a perception
2 : existing or functioning below the threshold of consciousness the subliminal mind subliminal advertising

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Other Words from subliminal

subliminally adverb

Did You Know?

Since the Latin word limen means "threshold", something subliminal exists just below the threshold of conscious awareness. The classic example of a subliminal message is "Eat popcorn" flashed on a movie screen so quickly that the audience doesn't even notice it consciously. Actually, no such advertising has ever been shown to work. But ordinary ads, both in print and on TV, do contain all kinds of images that shape our response to the product being advertised even when we don't realize it. Try looking carefully at some ads that you like, in order to discover how many ways they may be subliminally affecting you.

Examples of subliminal in a Sentence

The studio denied the existence of subliminal messages in the movie. I am skeptical that subliminal advertising actually works.
Recent Examples on the Web Razor-thin, cut on the bias, its sharpness an almost subliminal guide on proper consumption. Amy Drew Thompson, orlandosentinel.com, "Tampa: Birthplace of the Cuban sandwich," 13 Dec. 2020 The credits sequence, with its jumpy frames and near-subliminal flashes of psycho paraphernalia, is a small masterpiece of dementia — the film itself seems to be breaking down in terror. Christian Holub, EW.com, "Every David Fincher movie, ranked by EW grade," 3 Dec. 2020 Or maybe there's a little subliminal British inspiration, a nod to the classic English Rose look. Sarah Midkiff, refinery29.com, "Taylor Swift Did Her Own Hair For The ACMAs — & It Was So Country," 17 Sep. 2020 The Passat’s exterior has a few subtle flourishes including a crisp line running just below the windows and an almost subliminal one just below running from the taillights along the rear fenders and to the door handles. cleveland, "2020 Volkswagen Passat upgrades help it leap ahead of the competition (review)," 20 June 2020 The Passat’s exterior has a few subtle flourishes including a crisp line running just below the windows and an almost subliminal one just below running from the taillights along the rear fenders and to the door handles. cleveland, "2020 Volkswagen Passat upgrades help it leap ahead of the competition (review)," 20 June 2020 The Passat’s exterior has a few subtle flourishes including a crisp line running just below the windows and an almost subliminal one just below running from the taillights along the rear fenders and to the door handles. cleveland, "2020 Volkswagen Passat upgrades help it leap ahead of the competition (review)," 20 June 2020 The Passat’s exterior has a few subtle flourishes including a crisp line running just below the windows and an almost subliminal one just below running from the taillights along the rear fenders and to the door handles. cleveland, "2020 Volkswagen Passat upgrades help it leap ahead of the competition (review)," 20 June 2020 The Passat’s exterior has a few subtle flourishes including a crisp line running just below the windows and an almost subliminal one just below running from the taillights along the rear fenders and to the door handles. cleveland, "2020 Volkswagen Passat upgrades help it leap ahead of the competition (review)," 20 June 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'subliminal.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of subliminal

1883, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for subliminal

sub- + Latin limin-, limen threshold

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Time Traveler for subliminal

Time Traveler

The first known use of subliminal was in 1883

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Statistics for subliminal

Last Updated

22 Dec 2020

Cite this Entry

“Subliminal.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/subliminal. Accessed 17 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for subliminal

subliminal

adjective
How to pronounce subliminal (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of subliminal

: relating to things that influence your mind in a way that you do not notice

subliminal

adjective
sub·​lim·​i·​nal | \ (ˌ)səb-ˈlim-ən-ᵊl, ˈsəb- How to pronounce subliminal (audio) \

Medical Definition of subliminal

1 : inadequate to produce a sensation or a perception
2 : existing or functioning below the threshold of consciousness the subliminal mind subliminal advertising

Other Words from subliminal

subliminally \ -​ē How to pronounce subliminal (audio) \ adverb

More from Merriam-Webster on subliminal

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for subliminal

Britannica English: Translation of subliminal for Arabic Speakers

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