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. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for desublimate



psychol to direct the energy of (a primitive impulse, esp a sexual one) into activities that are considered to be socially more acceptable
(tr) to make purer; refine


chem the material obtained when a substance is sublimed


exalted or purified
Derived Formssublimable (ˈsʌbləməbəl), adjective

Word Origin for sublimate

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 desublimate



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

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

desublimate in Medicine




To transform directly from the solid to the gaseous state or from the gaseous to the solid state without becoming a liquid.
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.