abysmal

adjective
abys·​mal | \ ə-ˈbiz-məl How to pronounce abysmal (audio) , a- \

Definition of abysmal

1a : immeasurably low or wretched : extremely poor or bad abysmal ignorance/poverty abysmal living conditions an abysmal performance
b : having immense or fathomless extension downward, backward, or inward an abysmal cliff

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from abysmal

abysmally \ ə-​ˈbiz-​mə-​lē How to pronounce abysmal (audio) , a-​ \ adverb
abysmally ignorant an abysmally poor performance

Synonyms & Antonyms for abysmal

Synonyms

Antonyms

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of abysmal in a Sentence

They were living in abysmal ignorance. a desperate cry echoing from the abysmal reaches of the cave
Recent Examples on the Web Aviation passenger traffic in India grew at an abysmal pace for most of the year in 2020 due to restrictions on domestic and international travel. Niharika Sharma, Quartz India, "Will the Modi government manage to sell Air India this time?," 21 Dec. 2020 Against the Ravens, he was ranked the 82nd-best linebacker in the NFL for Week 14 with a 22.9 grade, including an abysmal 22.6 in tackling according to profootballfocus.com. cleveland, "Mack Wilson a healthy scratch for Giants game and Jacob Phillips starting; Baker Mayfield game captain," 20 Dec. 2020 Reviewers also only received the PC version of the game, keeping the abysmal last-gen console play out of view. Cecilia D'anastasio, Wired, "How Cyberpunk 2077 Sold a Promise—and Rigged the System," 15 Dec. 2020 Gooch, 28, says she was inspired by the state's abysmal child literacy rates. Giulia Heyward And Ralph Ellis, CNN, "Meet the Black cowgirl who inspires children to read," 13 Dec. 2020 For many, trust in business and the wisdom of the marketplace was overrun too, exposed by abysmal inequalities. Peter Van Agtmael, Magazine, "How photography helps us make sense of this unforgettable year," 8 Dec. 2020 The Vikings’ abysmal start left them with little margin for error, and by those lights, no one in the home locker room at U.S. Bank Stadium was complaining on Sunday about the final result. Ben Goessling, Star Tribune, "Vikings beat Jacksonville and somehow, someway are now in the NFC playoffs fray," 6 Dec. 2020 The beneficiary of this freakout was Biden, who, after abysmal showings in Iowa, New Hampshire, and Nevada, won South Carolina in a landslide and never looked back. W. James Antle Iii, Washington Examiner, "How the Biden coalition could come unglued," 3 Dec. 2020 Wentz’s league-leading 10 fumbles do not even factor into that abysmal rating. Tim Cowlishaw, Dallas News, "While New York Giants have emerged as the favorite, Cowboys could have the final say on who captures NFC East," 29 Nov. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'abysmal.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of abysmal

circa 1656, in the meaning defined at sense 1b

History and Etymology for abysmal

abysm + -al entry 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about abysmal

Time Traveler for abysmal

Time Traveler

The first known use of abysmal was circa 1656

See more words from the same year

Statistics for abysmal

Last Updated

28 Dec 2020

Cite this Entry

“Abysmal.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/abysmal. Accessed 22 Jan. 2021.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for abysmal

abysmal

adjective
abys·​mal | \ ə-ˈbiz-məl How to pronounce abysmal (audio) \

Kids Definition of abysmal

: extremely bad an abysmal report card

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on abysmal

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

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Slippery Words Quiz—Changing with the Times

  • ducreux self portrait yawning
  • What is an earlier meaning of nice?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!