\ˈka-zə m \

Definition of chasm 

1 : a deep cleft in the surface of a planet (such as the earth) : gorge built a bridge over the chasm

2 : a marked division, separation, or difference the chasm between the rich and the poor

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Synonyms for chasm


abysm, abyss, deep, gulf, ocean

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Examples of chasm in a Sentence

a chasm in the ocean floor

Recent Examples on the Web

Cayenne emerges from the great chasm, made red by the brake lights above her. Chicago Tribune,, "Algren Award Grand Prize winner: "Church of Pit" by Dustin Hyman," 2 June 2018 The most marked chasm is between urban and rural areas. The Economist, "Culture and the labour market keep India’s women at home," 5 July 2018 The interstice between Jack’s insides and his skin — that chasm of echoing hollow, the miserable Gas that kept him from himself, and from the world, had been closed.’’ Voth’s situation is much less dramatic. Clea Simon,, "In Jordy Rosenberg’s new novel, it’s a trans, trans, trans, trans world," 22 June 2018 Vagins adds that the chasm between what men and women owe has almost doubled since 2014. Mattie Kahn, Glamour, "Women Owe Almost $400 Billion More in Student Debt Than Men Do. You Can Blame That on the Patriarchy.," 24 May 2018 The Pew Research Center probed Americans about the U.S. political system in unique depth, and results across many questions show a chasm between ideals and reality. Scott Clement, Washington Post, "Americans think their democracy is falling short," 26 Apr. 2018 But in Nashville especially, there is a chasm between songwriter and performer, and Ms. McBryde is still smarting at the fact that her songwriting career never took flight. Jon Caramanica, New York Times, "Ashley McBryde Takes Nashville, No Gimmicks Required," 28 Mar. 2018 Closing the chasm between those two realities is the Hilinskis' most obvious path to closure. Greg Bishop,, "A College QB's Suicide. A Family's Search for Answers.," 26 June 2018 The position Axelrod espouses here typically goes like this: Trump relishes incivility, and by stooping to his level, good and decent people will further deepen the chasm that threatens to divide this country on a permanent basis. Jay Willis, GQ, "Public Shaming Is Powerful," 25 June 2018

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

1596, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for chasm

Latin chasma, from Greek; akin to Latin hiare to yawn — more at yawn

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Dictionary Entries near chasm

chaser stone

chase up






Statistics for chasm

Last Updated

1 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for chasm

The first known use of chasm was in 1596

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More Definitions for chasm



English Language Learners Definition of chasm

: a deep hole or opening in the surface of the earth

: a major division, separation, or difference between two people, groups, etc.


\ˈka-zəm \

Kids Definition of chasm

: a deep split or gap in the earth

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Comments on chasm

What made you want to look up chasm? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


playful or foolish behavior

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  • a-top-down-image-of-road-through-an-autumn-forest
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