Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • transitive v. Chemistry To cause (a solid or gas) to change state without becoming a liquid.
  • transitive v. To modify the natural expression of (a primitive, instinctual impulse) in a socially acceptable manner.
  • transitive v. To divert the energy associated with (an unacceptable impulse or drive) into a personally and socially acceptable activity.
  • intransitive v. Chemistry To transform directly from the solid to the gaseous state or from the gaseous to the solid state without becoming a liquid.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. To change state from a solid to a gas (or from a gas to a solid) without passing through the liquid state.
  • v. To purify or refine a substance through such a change of state.
  • v. To modify the natural expression of a sexual or primitive instinct in a socially acceptable manner; to divert the energy of such an instinct into some acceptable activity.
  • v. To raise to a place of honor.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Brought into a state of vapor by heat, and again condensed as a solid.
  • n. A product obtained by sublimation; hence, also, a purified product so obtained.
  • transitive v. To bring by heat into the state of vapor, which, on cooling, returns again to the solid state.
  • transitive v. To refine and exalt; to heighten; to elevate.
  • transitive v. To redirect the energy (of sexual or other biological drives) into a more socially acceptable or constructive form.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To bring (a solid substance, such as camphor or sulphur) by heat into the state of vapor, which on cooling returns again to the solid state. See sublimation.
  • To extract by or as by sublimation.
  • Figuratively, to deprive of earthly dross; elevate; refine; purify; idealize.
  • Brought into a state of vapor by heat, and again condensed, as camphor, sulphur, etc.; hence, elevated; purified.
  • n. Anything produced by sublimation or refining.
  • n. In mineralogy, the deposit formed, as in a glass tube or on a surface of charcoal, when a mineral containing a volatile ingredient is heated before the blowpipe.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. the product of vaporization of a solid
  • adj. made pure
  • v. direct energy or urges into useful activities
  • v. vaporize and then condense right back again
  • v. make more subtle or refined
  • v. change or cause to change directly from a solid into a vapor without first melting
  • v. remove impurities from, increase the concentration of, and separate through the process of distillation

Etymologies

Latin sublīmāre, sublīmāt-, to elevate, from sublīmis, uplifted.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)

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