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subliminal

[suhb-lim-uh-nl] /sʌbˈlɪm ə nl/
adjective, Psychology
1.
existing or operating below the threshold of consciousness; being or employing stimuli insufficiently intense to produce a discrete sensation but often being or designed to be intense enough to influence the mental processes or the behavior of the individual:
a subliminal stimulus; subliminal advertising.
Origin
1885-1890
1885-90; sub- + Latin līmin- (stem of līmen) threshold + -al1
Related forms
subliminally, adverb
nonsubliminal, adjective
nonsubliminally, adverb
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for subliminally
  • What guests get, and by all accounts are subliminally attracted to, is an environment where nothing is left to chance.
  • And another rather more subliminally but still legibly on the top shelf.
  • For some students, the screen also flashed an additional set of words so briefly that they could only be detected subliminally.
  • Comparison with existing parental attachment measures and a subliminally primed lexical decision task was also conducted.
  • The diagonal marking provided by these devices subliminally directs motorists into the traffic space.
British Dictionary definitions for subliminally

subliminal

/sʌbˈlɪmɪnəl/
adjective
1.
resulting from processes of which the individual is not aware
2.
(of stimuli) less than the minimum intensity or duration required to elicit a response
Derived Forms
subliminally, adverb
Word Origin
C19: from Latin sub- below + līmen threshold
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for subliminally

subliminal

adj.

1886, "below the threshold" (of consciousness), formed from sub "below" (see sub-) + Latin limen (genitive liminis) "threshold" (see limit (n.)).

Apparently a loan-translation of German unter der Schwelle (des Bewusstseins) "beneath the threshold (of consciousness)," from Johann Friedrich Herbart (1776-1841), author of a textbook on psychology published in 1824. The scare over subliminal advertising came in 1957.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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subliminally in Medicine

subliminal sub·lim·i·nal (sŭb-lĭm'ə-nəl)
adj.

  1. Below the threshold of conscious perception. Used of stimuli.

  2. Inadequate to produce conscious awareness but able to evoke a response.


sub·lim'i·nal·ly adv.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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