- existing or operating below the threshold of consciousness; being or employing stimuli insufficiently intense to produce a discrete sensation but often being or designed to be intense enough to influence the mental processes or the behavior of the individual: a subliminal stimulus; subliminal advertising.
Origin of subliminal
Examples from the Web for subliminally
And I think that, subliminally at least, the hidden story of the shoot is what helps sell us on the visible story of its subject.A Photographer's Circus
May 16, 2012
Such an impression, for instance, is that of alarm, suggested by some vague sound or odour which is only subliminally perceived.
I believe that his patients did subliminally receive such hints, and work them out in their own hypnotic behaviour.
Besides, she felt, more subliminally, that he was never so near slipping through her fingers as when he took that meek way.Between The Dark And The Daylight
William Dean Howells
It is possible to assume that I knew it subliminally, and that the medium abstracted it from those hidden levels of my mind.Psychical Miscellanea
J. Arthur Hill
- resulting from processes of which the individual is not aware
- (of stimuli) less than the minimum intensity or duration required to elicit a response
Word Origin and History for subliminally
Apparently a loan-translation of German unter der Schwelle (des Bewusstseins) "beneath the threshold (of consciousness)," from Johann Friedrich Herbart (1776-1841), author of a textbook on psychology published in 1824. The scare over subliminal advertising came in 1957.
- Below the threshold of conscious perception. Used of stimuli.
- Inadequate to produce conscious awareness but able to evoke a response.