\ ə-ˈbi-zəm How to pronounce abysm (audio) \

Definition of abysm

: abyss the dark backward and abysm of time— William Shakespeare

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Synonyms for abysm


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Examples of abysm in a Sentence

a recurrent dream in which he would fall helplessly into a dark and silent abysm

First Known Use of abysm

14th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for abysm

borrowed (with later spelling-pronunciation of s) from Anglo-French & Middle French abysme (compare Middle English abyme from Anglo-French abime, abisme), going back to Old French abysme, going back to Vulgar Latin *abismus, alteration of Late Latin abyssus abyss, perhaps via abíss(i)mus, alteration by haplology of abyssíssimus, a superlative derivative from abyssus

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Time Traveler for abysm

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The first known use of abysm was in the 14th century

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Cite this Entry

“Abysm.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/abysm. Accessed 15 Oct. 2021.

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More from Merriam-Webster on abysm

Nglish: Translation of abysm for Spanish Speakers


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