ridiculous

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from the sublime to the ridiculous

Fig. from something fine and uplifting to something ridiculous or mundane. After Mr. Jones had introduced my wife to his wife, he jokingly turned to introduce me and said, "From the sublime to the ridiculous." After the opera singer finished, the master of ceremonies introduced the comic juggler saying, "From the sublime to the ridiculous...."
See also: ridiculous, sublime

From the sublime to the ridiculous is only a step.

Prov. Something grand can easily become very funny. Bob, I don't think you should include a bowl of breakfast cereal in your still-life painting. From the sublime to the ridiculous is only a step. The production of Macbeth went from the sublime to the ridiculous when Lady Macbeth came onstage in an old army uniform.
See also: ridiculous, step, sublime

make someone look ridiculous

to make someone look foolish (not funny). This hat makes me look ridiculous. Please make me look good. Don't make me look ridiculous!
See also: look, make, ridiculous

from the ridiculous to the sublime

See: from the sublime to the ridiculous
See also: ridiculous, sublime

from the sublime to the ridiculous

from something that is very good to something that is very bad or silly The performances at the festival ranged from the sublime to the ridiculous.
Usage notes: also used in the form from the ridiculous to the sublime
See also: ridiculous, sublime

from the sublime to the ridiculous

from something that is very good or very serious to something that is very bad or silly The evening went from the sublime to the ridiculous, an hour-long piano recital followed by two hours of karaoke.
See also: ridiculous, sublime

from the sublime to the ridiculous

From the beautiful to the silly, from great to puny. For example, They played first Bach and then an ad jingle-from the sublime to the ridiculous. The reverse, from the ridiculous to the sublime, is used with the opposite meaning. Coined by Tom Paine in The Age of Reason (1794), in which he said the two are so closely related that it is but one step from one to the other, the phrase has been often repeated in either order.
See also: ridiculous, sublime
References in classic literature ?
They were joined in a few minutes by a prim, dignified little lady, ridiculously like Mr.
But when he turned him around and started forward, Bob proceeded to feign fright at trees, cows, bushes, Wolf, his own shadow--in short, at every ridiculously conceivable object.
Michael, who had followed in at her invitation, betrayed a ridiculously swollen nose as he sniffed noses with Jerry, wagged his bobtail to Harley in greeting, and was greeted in turn with a blissful hand laid on his head.
Then Palamedes, whenever he appears in tragedy, proves Agamemnon ridiculously unfit to be a general.
So often had that snakelike noose settled unexpectedly over Tublat's head, so often had he been jerked ridiculously and painfully from his feet when he was least looking for such an occurrence, that there is little wonder he found scant space in his savage heart for love of his white-skinned foster child, or the inventions thereof.
This seat, then, is an ancient mansion-house: if I was in one of those merry humours in which you have so often seen me, I could describe it to you ridiculously enough.
There were only three--the jib, foresail, and mainsail; and, patched, shortened, and distorted, they were a ridiculously ill-fitting suit for so trim a craft as the Ghost.
With our ridiculously small army and absolutely no sane scheme for home defence, we shall lose all that we have worth fighting for - our colonies - without being able to strike a blow.
This ridiculously unsuitable name struck one as an impertinence towards the memory of the most charming of goddesses; for, apart from the fact that the old craft was physically incapable of engaging in any sort of chase, there was a gang of four children belonging to her.
Benevolence radiated from him ridiculously, mildly, impressively.
Rebit has built a reputation for delivering ridiculously simple, yet powerful backup solutions for home and small business users," commented Paul Guerin, CEO, Rebit Inc.
24 (Sky1) Ridiculously OTT caper that could only be more brilliant if Stephen Fry's British PM dismissed fears over the US president's mental state with: "Nonsense, the president is as sane as I am.
Building the girls' signature harmonies with a bit of a 90s vibe, the ridiculously catchy Dev Hynesproduced track is finally ready after more than year in the making.
Culkin's publicist, Michelle Bega, rubbished the report, saying it was "not only categorically without merit, but it is also impossibly and ridiculously fictitious.
After losing control of the club fair and square, the incredibly unpopular pair ridiculously accused the board and RBS of an "epic swindle" and, even more ridiculously, initially said they would be seeking pounds 1billion in damages.