Quantcast
Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Medical
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary

abyss

play
noun \ə-ˈbis, a- also ˈa-(ˌ)bis\

Simple Definition of abyss

  • : a hole so deep or a space so great that it cannot be measured

Full Definition of abyss

  1. 1 :  the bottomless gulf, pit, or chaos of the old cosmogonies

  2. 2 a :  an immeasurably deep gulf or great space b :  intellectual or moral depths

Examples of abyss

  1. <looking down at the dark ocean from the ship's rail, the cruise passenger felt as though he was staring into an abyss>



Origin of abyss

Middle English abissus, from Late Latin abyssus, from Greek abyssos, from abyssos, adjective, bottomless, from a- + byssos depth; perhaps akin to Greek bathys deep


First Known Use: 14th century


ABYSS Defined for Kids

abyss

play
noun \ə-ˈbis\

Definition of abyss

  1. :  a gulf so deep or space so great that it cannot be measured





Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up abyss? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

February 6, 2016

an official order, decree, or edict

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

image1037863653

Which of the following refers to thin, bending ice, or to the act of running over such ice?

kittly-benders duvet spindrift pince-nez
Name That Thing

10 quick questions: hear them, spell them, and see how your skills compare to the crowd.

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ