ridiculous

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from the ridiculous to the sublime

From something odd or trivial to something exceptional. Less common than "from the sublime to the ridiculous." I was pleasantly surprised by the ending to that play—it really took things from the ridiculous to the sublime.
See also: ridiculous, sublime

from the sublime to the ridiculous

From something exceptional to something odd or trivial. I was disappointed by the ending to that play—it unfortunately took things from the sublime to the ridiculous.
See also: ridiculous, sublime

make (one) look ridiculous

To make someone appear or seem very foolish or awkward. Don't let him get on your nerves; he's just trying to get a reaction to make you look ridiculous in front of the class. I can't wear this dress, it makes me look ridiculous!
See also: look, make, ridiculous

from the sublime to the ridiculous (is only a step)

(It is very easy to go) from being very grand, sophisticated, beautiful, or uplifting to being silly, foolish, or absurd. The night went from the sublime to the ridiculous when the opera singer was followed by a ventriloquist. The film sets the story of King Lear in a modern-day fast-food restaurant empire. From the sublime to the ridiculous is only a step.
See also: ridiculous, sublime

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 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

from the subˌlime to the riˈdiculous

used to describe a situation in which something serious, important or of high quality is followed by something silly, unimportant or of poor quality: His works as an artist range from the sublime to the ridiculous, with very little in between. From the sublime to the ridiculous is only one step is a translation of a phrase that was first said by Napoleon Bonaparte.
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.