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

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Other Words from abysmal

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

Synonyms & Antonyms for abysmal



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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 Two states are relatively steady compared to last week -- North Dakota and Iowa -- but that's not saying much, since both states have recently had abysmal rates of new cases, hospitalizations and deaths. Holly Yan And Christina Maxouris, CNN, "1,707 coronavirus deaths were reported in 1 day. That's the highest daily death toll in 6 months," 18 Nov. 2020 During their weekly meeting, Elizabeth takes her prime minister to task for the abysmal state of the country. Lauren Morgan, EW.com, "The Crown binge recap: Welcome to the Diana Years! (Episodes 1-4)," 18 Nov. 2020 The Cincinnati tree has since adjusted to its new home after its abysmal debut and has even spawned its own T-shirt and Twitter account. NBC News, "Christmas trees put on display in U.S. cities draw mockery and comparisons to 2020," 17 Nov. 2020 However, riding a stifling defense, a terrific two-touchdown performance from Nyheim Hines and some abysmal specials teams play by the Titans (6-3), the Colts jumped all over the Titans in the second half. Jim Ayello, The Indianapolis Star, "Insider: First-place Colts ride Nyheim Hines, specials teams and defense to beat Titans," 13 Nov. 2020 Engstrom called Trump’s response to the virus abysmal. Anchorage Daily News, "US counties with worst coronavirus surges overwhelmingly voted Trump," 6 Nov. 2020 Engstrom called Trump's response to the virus abysmal. Carla K. Johnson, Star Tribune, "Counties with worst virus surges overwhelmingly voted Trump," 5 Nov. 2020 Wide receiver Marvin Hall stood out with a career-best 113 receiving yards on four catches in an otherwise abysmal game for the Detroit Lions' offense. Carlos Monarrez, Detroit Free Press, "Here's who Lions' Darrell Bevell says could potentially replace Kenny Golladay vs. Vikings," 3 Nov. 2020 The chances of a playoff berth, even in the abysmal NFC East, dwindle with each and every snap. John Owning, Dallas News, "Film room: 3 bold predictions for Cowboys-Eagles, including why Zack Martin should make his return as a tackle," 30 Oct. 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.

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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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Time Traveler for abysmal

Time Traveler

The first known use of abysmal was circa 1656

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Statistics for abysmal

Last Updated

22 Nov 2020

Cite this Entry

“Abysmal.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/abysmal. Accessed 30 Nov. 2020.

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More Definitions for abysmal


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

Kids Definition of abysmal

: extremely bad an abysmal report card

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