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 In the United States, political candidates are programmed never to let the voters see them sweat, no matter how abysmal the poll numbers. David M. Halbfinger, New York Times, "Israeli Election Hinges on a Mosaic of Competing Groups," 17 Sep. 2019 The Packers offense looked abysmal against a good Bears defense and only completed 18 passes. Adam Ronis, SI.com, "Fantasy Football Stock Watch: Sammy Watkins Up, Jameis Winston Down," 11 Sep. 2019 Carolina's offense, which struggled in a Week 2 preseason loss to Buffalo, was abysmal against the Patriots, managing just 99 yards and seven first downs. Steve Reed, Houston Chronicle, "Panthers optimistic Cam Newton will be ready for opener," 23 Aug. 2019 As vital as their work is, their pay is generally abysmal. Yvonne Abraham, BostonGlobe.com, "Trump’s new immigration rule: Not just immoral — also stupid," 17 Aug. 2019 He was then forced to confront the then-abysmal state of wood and plastic prostheses. Patrick Lucas Austin, Time, "Why TIME's 2019 Tech Optimists Are Upbeat About Silicon Valley's Future," 7 Aug. 2019 That’s why it’s dangerous to get too worked up about a mediocre — or even abysmal — April. Kevin Acee, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Eric Hosmer, Padres show signs in past week that they will hit," 30 Apr. 2018 The state’s intervention comes after a report from researchers at Johns Hopkins University found the school system is plagued by widespread dysfunction, poor test scores, and abysmal building conditions. BostonGlobe.com, "Gallo maintains the decision to “pause” the mandatory use of the book will not be a total loss for the district. She said the books have been distributed to all schools, and teachers still have the option to use sections of it in class.," 12 Sep. 2019 Jail improvements: Key improvements have been made to Cuyahoga County jail operations this year to address crowding, security issues and abysmal conditions, but county officials still have a long list of challenges to overcome. Cliff Pinckard, cleveland.com, "Cleveland city prosecutor blames CMHA police over lack of Frank Q. Jackson charges: The Wake Up for Monday, Sept. 9, 2019," 9 Sep. 2019

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

26 Oct 2019

Cite this Entry

“Abysmal.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/abysmally?pronunciation&lang=en_us&dir=a&file=abysma02. Accessed 21 November 2019.

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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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More from Merriam-Webster on abysmal

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for abysmal

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with 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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