abysmal

adjective
abys·​mal | \ ə-ˈbiz-məl, 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

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Other Words from abysmal

abysmally \ -​mə-​lē \ adverb
abysmally ignorant an abysmally poor performance

Synonyms & Antonyms for abysmal

Synonyms

bottomless, deep, profound

Antonyms

shallow, shoal, skin-deep, superficial, surface

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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

Early last year, facing abysmal poll numbers and a strong opponent in the presidential race, the party was approached by the now-defunct firm Cambridge Analytica. Danny Hakim, New York Times, "Mexico’s Hardball Politics Get Even Harder as PRI Fights to Hold On to Power," 24 June 2018 Poor results in 2018 are no surprise (though the White Sox’ abysmal start is worrisome for a team that’s already started to graduate its top talent). Si.com Staff, SI.com, "Nine Innings: The Fear-Inducing Yankees, Examining MLB's Trends and Banning the Shift," 14 May 2018 The Buckeyes rallied from an abysmal start and an 11-point halftime deficit to take a brief second-half lead before Gonzaga went on an 11-0 run to snatch it back. BostonGlobe.com, "More Loyola prayers answered in victory," 18 Mar. 2018 The resilient-all-season Buckeyes (25-9) rallied from an abysmal start and an 11-point halftime deficit to take a brief second-half lead before Gonzaga went on an 11-0 run to snatch it back. John Marshall, Houston Chronicle, "West Regional: Zach Norvell Jr., Gonzaga fend off Ohio State rally," 17 Mar. 2018 The resilient-all-season Buckeyes (25-9) rallied from an abysmal start and an 11-point halftime deficit to take a brief second-half lead before Gonzaga went on an 11-0 run to snatch it back. John Marshall, chicagotribune.com, "Gonzaga beats Ohio State 90-84 for Sweet 16 return," 17 Mar. 2018 But the level of awareness was abysmal, including among health care workers. Julia Belluz, Vox, "Why the Ebola outbreak in DRC is so difficult to contain," 2 Dec. 2018 Whatever the result, this week proved that the once abysmal gap between Mexican and MLS clubs is getting closer and closer. Juan Pimiento, chicagotribune.com, "Real Madrid, Juve advance in Champions League and the best of the week in soccer," 8 Mar. 2018 Currently, the president’s average approval rating is an abysmal 39%. Danielle Campoamor, Teen Vogue, "The New York Times’ Anonymous Op-Ed Writer Isn’t Helping Anyone," 7 Sep. 2018

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.

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First Known Use of abysmal

circa 1656, in the meaning defined at sense 1b

History and Etymology for abysmal

abysm + -al entry 1

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Dictionary Entries near abysmal

Abydos

Abyla

abysm

abysmal

abyss

abyssal

abyssalbenthic

Statistics for abysmal

Last Updated

19 Jan 2019

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Time Traveler for abysmal

The first known use of abysmal was circa 1656

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More Definitions for abysmal

abysmal

adjective
abys·​mal | \ ə-ˈbiz-məl \

Kids Definition of abysmal

: extremely bad an abysmal report card

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More from Merriam-Webster on abysmal

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with abysmal

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for abysmal

Spanish Central: Translation of abysmal

Nglish: Translation of abysmal for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of abysmal for Arabic Speakers

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