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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).
in literary criticism, grandeur of thought, emotion, and spirit that characterizes great literature. It is the topic of an incomplete treatise, On the Sublime, that was for long attributed to the 3rd-century Greek philosopher Cassius Longinus but now believed to have been written in the 1st century AD by an unknown writer frequently designated Pseudo-Longinus.