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
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 of subliminal from the Web
Oscar has discovered his Dad’s secret: kids in Candor are brainwashed by subliminal messages pumped to them through the music played over the town’s loudspeakers.
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.
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.
Origin and Etymology of subliminal
sub- + Latin limin-, limen threshold
First Known Use: 1883See Words from the same year
SUBLIMINAL Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of subliminal for English Language Learners
: relating to things that influence your mind in a way that you do not notice
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