abyss

noun
\ ə-ˈbis How to pronounce abyss (audio) , a- also ˈa-(ˌ)bis\

Definition of abyss

1a : an immeasurably deep gulf or great space gazed down into the gaping abyss the ocean's abysses (figurative) a widening abyss between the rich and the poor
b : intellectual or moral depths an abyss of moral depravity an abyss of despair
2 : the bottomless gulf, pit, or chaos of the old cosmogonies

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Synonyms for abyss

Synonyms

abysm, chasm, deep, gulf, ocean

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Examples of abyss in a Sentence

looking down at the dark ocean from the ship's rail, the cruise passenger felt as though he was staring into an abyss

Recent Examples on the Web

Peering into the abyss Powerful radio telescopes around the world can be synchronized to work together, enhancing their resolution beyond what any single telescope could achieve. National Geographic, "First-ever picture of a black hole unveiled," 10 Apr. 2019 Killing Eve stares into the abyss—and finds something hilarious in its darkest reaches. Chloe Foussianes, Town & Country, "Killing Eve's Fiona Shaw Knows Which Side Carolyn Martens Is On. She Knows a Lot, Actually.," 5 May 2019 Their living space has become lost in the abyss of their busy lives; a murky green mood-killer that’s just begging for some love. Lucia Tonelli, ELLE Decor, "Watch the Drabbest Rooms Become Fab on Best Room Wins Episode Three," 16 May 2019 Yes, there were some loonies (those caricatures in Nunsense and Sister Act didn’t spring from an abyss). Ronnie Polaneczky, Philly.com, "I asked my grade-school principal, Sister Bernadette: How can we bring nuns back? | Ronnie Polaneczky," 25 Apr. 2018 Instead, Stanley Kubrick’s freakishly controlled, symphonically intense visions of human folly imagined a universe designed for grim laughter at the edge of an abyss. Michael Phillips, chicagotribune.com, "'Filmworker': A life lived in thrall to Stanley Kubrick," 31 May 2018 Brad Pitt, Christian Bale, Steve Carell, and Ryan Gosling star in the film, which feels like an angry, exhilarating, mad dash right off the edge of a cliff and into an abyss. Alissa Wilkinson, Vox, "5 movies that explain what caused the financial crisis, and what happened after," 14 Sep. 2018 The map of Charon shows an even more dramatic range of features, with even higher peaks countered by an abyss deeper than the lowest point on Earth. Meghan Bartels, Space.com, "Pluto and Charon Shine in Most Detailed Topographical Maps Ever," 12 July 2018 Though employment rates have been climbing back from the abyss, young men never caught up again. Jeanna Smialek, The Seattle Times, "Millennial men leave perplexing hole in hot US job market," 20 Nov. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'abyss.' 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 abyss

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2

History and Etymology for abyss

borrowed from Late Latin abyssus, borrowed from Greek ábyssos "bottomless, unfathomable, (as noun) bottomless gulf," from a- a- entry 2 + byssós "depth of the sea," probably going back to *byth-yos, derivative of bythós "depth, deepest part, bottom," probably of pre-Greek substratal origin

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Learn More about abyss

Dictionary Entries near abyss

Abyla

abysm

abysmal

abyss

abyssal

abyssalbenthic

abyssal hill

Statistics for abyss

Last Updated

23 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for abyss

The first known use of abyss was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for abyss

abyss

noun
\ ə-ˈbis How to pronounce abyss (audio) \

Kids Definition of abyss

: a gulf so deep or space so great that it cannot be measured

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More from Merriam-Webster on abyss

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with abyss

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for abyss

Spanish Central: Translation of abyss

Nglish: Translation of abyss for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of abyss for Arabic Speakers

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appealing forcibly to the mind or reason

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