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 abysmal (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 His rating on the border is abysmal — just 29 percent of the public approves of his handling of the border in recent Quinnipiac and CNBC polls. Rich Lowry, National Review, "A Border Crisis of Biden’s Own Making," 30 Apr. 2021 Before getting to this point, and landing on Stefanski and Berry, the Haslams' track record for hiring coaches and front-office executives was abysmal. Tom Withers, Star Tribune, "Browns owners finally in good spot after years of misery," 28 Apr. 2021 But with viewership for earlier pandemic awards shows plummeting to historic lows, ratings were expected to be abysmal. Los Angeles Times, "Today’s Headlines: A new global COVID-19 surge," 26 Apr. 2021 The Indian government’s track record with data security is abysmal, yet citizens have a lot of trust in it. Niharika Sharma, Quartz, "Urban Indians trust the government more than e-commerce firms when it comes to data security," 20 Apr. 2021 Kentucky's second-half rally and subsequent collapse overshadowed what was an abysmal start to the game. Jon Hale, The Courier-Journal, "Kentucky basketball seasons ends with loss to Mississippi State in SEC Tournament opener," 11 Mar. 2021 After an abysmal start, the Bulls are ninth defensively this month holding opponents to 109.2 points per 100 possessions. Jamal Collier, chicagotribune.com, "3 takeaways from the Chicago Bulls’ 4th win in 5 games, including that 46-point 3rd quarter and Coby White playing off the ball more," 23 Feb. 2021 Saying the Dallas Cowboys are off to an abysmal start would be in the running for understatement of the year. Dallas News, "Beast of the Least: Tracking the slow-paced race for the NFC East title," 23 Oct. 2020 After an abysmal start to last season that cost Unai Emery his job, Arsenal under Mikel Arteta could finally challenge for the top spots. Julio Vega, USA TODAY, "Premier League preview: Liverpool vs. Manchester City, race for top 4, Leeds back with Bielsa," 11 Sep. 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

3 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Abysmal.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/abysmal. Accessed 16 May. 2021.

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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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