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

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3 thoughts on “Word of the Day: sublime”

  1. I was surprised by the verb definition too. I’ve only used it as an adjective. My daughter seems to prefer that too. Now instead of instead of referring to things as “awesome”, they’re “sublime.” 🙂

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