VCR Lesson 6 Presentation

Lauren Engle

Fill in the blank

The language in the novel was so difficult to understand that Sabrina could barely ____________ her desire to throw it across the room in frustration.
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What's in the blank?

sublimate (tr. and intr. v.)

~~To turn aside an instinctual, perhaps primitive, impulse in favor of a more socially or culturally acceptable activity.

*Important NOTE

Although the word sublimate began as a psychological term, it is now in a general usage.
  • Psychology : to express a desire or feeling by changing it into a form that is socially acceptable
  • Chemistry: another term for sublime (a solid deposit of a substance that has sublimed)

*In general usage, sublime ~ ("exalted" and "awe-inspiring") also contains elements of the meaning of sublimate.

Other forms of SUBLIMATE

sublimate (n. and adj.)

sublimation (n.)


~sub~ <L. "under"

~limen~ <L. "threshold"

Synonyms and Antynoms


  • repress
  • suppress
  • transfer
  • divert
  • redirect
  • control


  • yield
  • surrender
  • permit
  • allow

~anything that describes giving into desires


Chose the sentence below where the word in bold is used correctly

A) After unproductive days at work, Andrew would come home and sublimate his frustrations into his artwork

B) After the death of a close family member, people often sublimate their grief by throwing themselves into their work.

C) He believed that by mending his ways, he would be sublimated above all others.

D) Therapists try to help impulsive patients sublimate their instincts into more socially acceptable alternatives.

Correct Answer

C: should be sublime ("exalted")