Dictionary.com
definitions
  • synonyms

sublimate

[verb suhb-luh-meyt; noun, adjective suhb-luh-mit, -meyt]
See more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
verb (used with object), sub·li·mat·ed, sub·li·mat·ing.
  1. Psychology. to divert the energy of (a sexual or other biological impulse) from its immediate goal to one of a more acceptable social, moral, or aesthetic nature or use.
  2. Chemistry.
    1. to sublime (a solid substance); extract by this process.
    2. to refine or purify (a substance).
  3. to make nobler or purer: To read about great men sublimates ambition.
verb (used without object), sub·li·mat·ed, sub·li·mat·ing.
  1. to become sublimated; undergo sublimation.
noun
  1. Chemistry. the crystals, deposit, or material obtained when a substance is sublimated.
adjective
  1. purified or exalted; sublimated.

Origin of sublimate

1425–75; late Middle English: exalted, sublimated < Latin sublīmātus (past participle of sublīmāre to elevate), equivalent to sublīm(is) sublime + -ātus -ate1
Related formssub·li·ma·ble [suhb-luh-muh-buh l] /ˈsʌb lə mə bəl/, adjectivesub·li·ma·ble·ness, nounsub·li·ma·tion, nounde·sub·li·mate, verb (used with object), de·sub·li·mat·ed, de·sub·li·mat·ing.re·sub·li·mate, verb (used with object), re·sub·li·mat·ed, re·sub·li·mat·ing.su·per·sub·li·mat·ed, adjectiveun·sub·li·mat·ed, adjective
Can be confusedsublimate sublime
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for sublimate

Historical Examples

  • Now that they're out of their force field, they'll start to sublimate.

    Millennium

    Everett B. Cole

  • It readily furnishes a sublimate at 100°, partially decomposing.

  • Boil them in a glass bottel till the sublimate be dissolved.

  • We must sublimate it, grind it down, hammer it out into a useful pattern.

    Exploiter's End

    James Causey

  • In this there will always be a little of the sublimate left on the bottom of the jar.


British Dictionary definitions for sublimate

sublimate

verb
  1. psychol to direct the energy of (a primitive impulse, esp a sexual one) into activities that are considered to be socially more acceptable
  2. (tr) to make purer; refine
noun
  1. chem the material obtained when a substance is sublimed
adjective
  1. exalted or purified
Derived Formssublimable (ˈsʌbləməbəl), adjective

Word Origin

C16: from Latin sublīmāre to elevate, from sublīmis lofty; see sublime
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for sublimate

v.

1560s, from Latin sublimatus, past participle of sublimare (see sublimation). Related: Sublimated; sublimating.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

sublimate in Medicine

sublimate

(sŭblə-māt′)
v.
  1. To transform directly from the solid to the gaseous state or from the gaseous to the solid state without becoming a liquid.
  2. To modify the natural expression of an instinctual impulse, especially a sexual one, in a socially acceptable manner.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.