Word of the Day: sublime

1sub·lime verb \sə-ˈblīm\

sub·limed sub·lim·ing

Definition of SUBLIME

transitive verb

1: to cause to pass directly from the solid to the vapor state and condense back to solid form 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

intransitive verb

: to pass directly from the solid to the vapor state

—sub·lim·able\-ˈblī-mə-bəl\ adjective

— sub·lim·er noun

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

2sub·lime adjective \sə-ˈblīm\

: very beautiful or good : causing strong feelings of admiration or wonder: complete or extreme



Full Definition of SUBLIME

1a: lofty, grand, or exalted in thought, expression, or manner

b: of outstanding spiritual, intellectual, or moral worth

c: tending to inspire awe usually because of elevated quality (as of beauty, nobility, or grandeur) or transcendent excellence

2a archaic: high in place

b obsolete: lofty of mien : haughty

c capitalized: supreme—used in a style of address

d: complete, utter<sublime ignorance>

— sub·lime·ly adverb

— sub·lime·ness noun

Origin of SUBLIME

Latin sublimis, literally, high, elevated

First Known Use: circa 1567


amazing, astonishing, astounding, awesome, awful, eye-opening, fabulous, miraculous, portentous, prodigious, staggering, stunning, stupendous, marvelous, surprising, wonderful, wondrous


base, debased, degenerate, degraded, ignoble, low

Related Words

incomprehensible, inconceivable, incredible, unbelievable, unimaginable, unthinkable; extraordinary, phenomenal, rare, sensational, spectacular; singular, uncommon, unique, unusual, unwonted; conspicuous, notable, noticeable, outstanding, remarkable; impressive, smashing, striking; mind-bending, mind-blowing, mind-boggling; animating, energizing, enlightening, enlivening, exciting, galvanizing, invigorating, stimulating; alluring, attracting, attractive, beguiling, bewitching, captivating, charming, enchanting, entertaining, enthralling, fascinating, interesting

Near Antonyms

unimpressive, uninspiring, unremarkable; boring, dull, jading, monotonous, tedious, tiring, uninspired, uninteresting, wearisome, weary, wearying; common, customary, mundane, normal, ordinary, typical, unexceptional, usual; draining, enervating, exhausting, fatiguing, wearing; debilitating, enfeebling; demoralizing, discouraging, disheartening, dispiriting

Definition source: http://www.merriam-webster.com

The Word of the Day started with this post.