Definitions

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

  • adj. Psychology Below the threshold of conscious perception. Used of stimuli.
  • adj. Psychology Inadequate to produce conscious awareness but able to evoke a response: subliminal propaganda.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Below the threshold of conscious perception, especially if still able to produce a response.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Existing in the mind, but below the surface or threshold of consciousness; that is, existing as feeling rather than as clear ideas.
  • adj. having or using an intensity of sensory stimulus insufficient to be perceived consciously, but having an effect on unconscious mental processes.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Below the threshold of sensation. In the following quotation a similar threshold of consciousness is supposed.
  • Subconscious; pertaining to the subliminal self or personality: as, a subliminal memory.
  • n. The subconscious; a supposed secondary self or consciousness below the level of the normal, waking life.

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

  • adj. below the threshold of conscious perception

Etymologies

sub- + Latin līmen, līmin-, threshold.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Morphologically sub- + Latin līmen ("threshold") (genitive līminis) + -al, a calque of German unterschwellig ("beneath the threshold"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

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