When anything solid turns into a gas without first becoming liquid, that’s sublimation. When the surface layer of snow or ice turns into fog or steam without melting, this is an example of sublimation.

The noun sublimation is from the Latin word sublimare, meaning “to raise a higher status.” In the field of mental health, sublimation helps people who have urges that, if acted on, are self-destructive or dangerous to others. They are taught how to direct that energy into something productive like creating art, exercising, or otherwise finding an outlet to take mind off of problematic thoughts.

Definitions of sublimation
  1. noun
    (chemistry) a change directly from the solid to the gaseous state without becoming liquid
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    type of:
    shift, transformation, transmutation
    a qualitative change
  2. noun
    (psychology) modifying the natural expression of an impulse or instinct (especially a sexual one) to one that is socially acceptable
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    type of:
    alteration, change, modification
    an event that occurs when something passes from one state or phase to another
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