Earthquakes of such vast power, too, are sublime, and speak to deadly forces beyond our power to conquer, or even fully grasp.
“It seems like volunteers for ISIS are surfing for the sublime,” Atran wrote to me on Sunday.
Then, we have the pulse-pounding Captain Phillips, the sublime Nebraska, and the insane The Wolf of Wall Street.
1580s, "expressing lofty ideas in an elevated manner," from Middle French sublime, from Latin sublimis "uplifted, high, lofty," possibly originally "sloping up to the lintel," from sub "up to" + limen "lintel."
The sublime (n.) "the sublime part of anything" is from 1670s. Sublime Porte, former title of the Ottoman government, is from French la Sublime Porte, literally "the high gate," a loan-translation of Arabic Bab 'Ali, title of the Ottoman court at Constantinople (cf. mikado).