Meaning of sublimate in English:


See synonyms for sublimate

Translate sublimate into Spanish


  • 1with object (in psychoanalytic theory) divert or modify (an instinctual impulse) into a culturally higher or socially more acceptable activity.

    ‘libido must be sublimated into productive work activities’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘So the goofy Greeks decorated their merrymaking in pretty bows and successfully sublimated their impulses with constrictive ceremonial routines.’
    • ‘In whatever field one has chosen to work, or indeed is forced to work, that activity can be sublimated to the higher position of yoga.’
    • ‘They are artists in the truest sense of the word, sublimating their egos and committing themselves fully to the needs of the project.’
    • ‘Making her own way in a hostile world, she establishes her sons and ultimately sublimates the ego.’
    • ‘Can she sublimate her ego for the good of the team?’
    • ‘The learning happened because the youngest stars were more than willing to sublimate their own egos for the benefit of the team.’
    • ‘Remembering them daily, learning from them how to sublimate our petty ego to reach the higher self, we transcend sin.’
    • ‘Libido must be sublimated into productive work activities, and this necessitates the removal of temptation.’
    • ‘It also suggests a canny ability to sublimate some of the social energy and anxiety toward the secondary ‘desire’: to recreate a difficult problem as easy solvable.’
    • ‘Athletes are expected to fight for responsibility and attention but to quickly sublimate those desires when it benefits the team.’
    • ‘Leopold Mozart was a talented composer, but no more than that, so sublimated his own remaining ambitions to devote himself to the coaching and ‘particular proof’ of his surviving children.’
    • ‘Attachment to the wealth in any form is to be sublimated by realization that all the wealth is illusory and the real Lord is our indwelling Self in everything.’
    • ‘The poet in Lawrence was sublimated by the journalist in him in order to accomplish this project and get paid.’
    • ‘The lengths we will go to in order to sublimate ourselves and placate the people we care about is a simultaneously charming and pathetic aspect of human nature.’
    • ‘As Karl Toepfer makes clear, eroticism was understood by many advocates and participants to be a fundamental component of body culture, whether sublimated or expressly promoted.’
    • ‘At its heart is a consideration of the artistic process, a debate over the legitimacy of sublimating social anguish into aesthetic form.’
    • ‘Marley's performance is impressive for all its sublimated emotion.’
    channel, control, divert, transfer, redirect, convert, refine, purify, transmute
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1Transform (something) into a purer or idealized form.
      ‘attractive rhythms are sublimated into a much larger context’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘As is the case in plays of this nature, the rest of the cast are sublimated to the greater good of the main part.’
      • ‘But I'll see if I can actually sublimate the tension into something creative.’
      • ‘By emphasizing rather than sublimating the oppositional tensions propelling his belated poetic project, Virgil kept his commitment to the present, even as he ostensibly addressed the past.’
  • 2Chemistry

    another term for sublime

    ‘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.’
    • ‘Were that to occur, it would expose any underlying water-ice cap, which could then heat up and sublimate water into the atmosphere.’





  • A solid deposit of a substance which has sublimed.

    ‘condensation of a sublimate’
    • ‘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.’



/ˈsʌblɪmeɪt/ /ˈsʌblɪmət/


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