abysmal

adjective

abys·​mal ə-ˈbiz-məl How to pronounce abysmal (audio)
a-
1
a
: 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
2
abysmally adverb
abysmally ignorant
an abysmally poor performance

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 Whether the legal system agrees is another matter, for the NCAA’s abysmal record in court is one reason Yormark was short on specifics. Jon Wilner, The Mercury News, 6 June 2024 Building safety compliance remains abysmal across India, the world’s most populous nation. Hari Kumar, New York Times, 26 May 2024 The Middle East is home to numerous dictatorships whose human rights records range from spotty (Morocco) to abysmal (Saudi Arabia). Daniel Byman, Foreign Affairs, 12 Mar. 2024 The pacing is abysmal, with Brooks’s lively story about a pair of Broadway producers who try to fleece investors by deliberately creating a flop dragged out for more than two hours. Josh Bell, Vulture, 12 Jan. 2024 See all Example Sentences for abysmal 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'abysmal.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

abysm + -al entry 1

First Known Use

circa 1656, in the meaning defined at sense 1b

Time Traveler
The first known use of abysmal was circa 1656

Dictionary Entries Near abysmal

Cite this Entry

“Abysmal.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/abysmal. Accessed 20 Jun. 2024.

Kids Definition

abysmal

adjective
abys·​mal ə-ˈbiz-məl How to pronounce abysmal (audio)
1
a
: extremely poor or bad
abysmal living conditions
b
: having an immense extension downward, backward, or inward
2
abysmally adverb

More from Merriam-Webster on abysmal

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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