In common use, sublime is an adjective meaning "awe-inspiringly grand, excellent, or impressive," like the best chocolate fudge sundae you've ever had.

  • Pronunciation: / sə'blaɪm/
  • English description: of high moral or intellectual value; elevated in nature or style
  • Synonyms: elevated
  • Chinese Translation:  庄严的(zhuang1 yan2 de)
  • Spanish Translation: sensacional
  • ORIGIN: You might describe a spine-tingling piece of music as "a work of sublime beauty." With the, the word also functions as a noun meaning "something that strikes the mind with a sense of grandeur or power": "Never need an American look beyond his own country for the sublime and beautiful of natural scenery," wrote Washington Irving. The beauty of music or nature can be awe-inspiring, but sublime is also useful for describing everything from an impressive serve in tennis to a jaw-droppingly good taste sensation.


  • But for three weeks last month some of that traffic morphed into something rather sublime: the world’s first mobile opera.
  • Like most of his work, it is a sublime and tricky beast, generated from a tape loop of piano playing recorded decades ago.

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