Definition of sublimate in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈsʌblɪmeɪt/


1 [with object] (In psychoanalytic theory) divert or modify (an instinctual impulse) into a culturally higher or socially more acceptable activity: people who sublimate sexuality into activities which help to build up and preserve civilization
More example sentences
  • Artists, in this view, are people who may avoid neurosis and perversion by sublimating their impulses in their work.
  • A psychologist might interpret my conversion as sublimating my guilty feelings, but I prefer to think about it as fulfilling my Jewish destiny.
  • Too often, however, student needs or preferences are sublimated to the overwhelming task of presenting large bodies of information to large numbers of students in small periods of time.
channel, control, divert, transfer, redirect, convert, refine, purify, transmute
1.1Transform (something) into a purer or idealized form: attractive rhythms are sublimated into a much larger context
More example sentences
  • Tonally, the poems from this book sound more distanced and impersonal than any Ryan has written; the strong note of passionate response can still be heard, but the passion is sublimated into an objectivity whose calm is brooding and tense.
  • Instead, he delivers a laudably subdued performance as an aging Gen X-er whose gloomy angst is sublimated into sketches and journal entries.
  • Terrified lest his secret be made public, and turn him into an object of scorn, he managed to sublimate these fears and transform them into the stuff of comedy.
2 Chemistry another term for sublime.
Example sentences
  • 78.5°C Temperature at which dry ice (carbon dioxide) sublimates from a solid to a gas
  • There is no danger at all in consuming a drink that was cooled down using dry ice - most of the carbon dioxide will just sublimate into the air.
  • Some of the most dominating physical features I've ever encountered, a glacier is a vast mass of ice formed from the accumulation of snow that compacts faster than it melts and sublimates.


Pronunciation: /ˈsʌblɪmeɪt/
Pronunciation: /ˈsʌblɪmət/
A solid deposit of a substance which has sublimed: condensation of a sublimate
More example sentences
  • During the waning stages of eruption, fumarolic activity oxidized cinders along the rim and deposited aggregates of sublimates, hydrothermal precipitates, and reaction products near the central vent of the volcano.



Pronunciation: /sʌblɪˈmeɪʃ(ə)n/
Example sentences
  • To think about sublimation, the process by which an object ‘acquires the dignity of the Thing’, produces a different emphasis.
  • All employ a print process known as dye sublimation, and this classy Samsung model is the pick of the crop.
  • The microscopic amounts are achieved by superheating managerium so that it changes from a solid directly into a gas - a process known as sublimation.


Late Middle English (in the sense 'raise to a higher status'): from Latin sublimat- 'raised up', from the verb sublimare.

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: sub¦lim|ate

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