\ ˈka-zəm How to pronounce chasm (audio) \

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


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Examples of chasm in a Sentence

a chasm in the ocean floor
Recent Examples on the Web Alongside more than a dozen contributors, De Maio and Benjamins illustrate what is sometimes a vast chasm between the life expectancy of Black and white people in urban America. Isabella Cueto, STAT, 10 Oct. 2021 The mystery itself is tightly constructed and suspensefully paced—until, as in Everett’s other novels, a chasm opens between form and content. Julian Lucas, The New Yorker, 20 Sep. 2021 With resilience and technology as the new leitmotif, supply chains are now being upgraded in a manner that risks turning a mountainous gap into a chasm. Radu Magdin, Forbes, 20 Sep. 2021 Newsom has always been a divisive politician — an avatar of elitist San Francisco progressivism who seems to uniquely irritate conservatives — but the split in public opinion grew into a chasm during the pandemic. Alexei Koseff, San Francisco Chronicle, 5 Sep. 2021 Rigsby rode into that chasm of misery with defiant, emphatic positivity. Washington Post, 15 July 2021 What used to be a divide has turned into a chasm between states with high rates of vaccination and those with low rates of vaccination. Melissa Mahtani, CNN, 29 June 2021 What’s more, with COVID-19 still hammering low-income families and higher education budget cuts looming, experts worry the pandemic could turn this inequity into a gaping chasm. USA Today, 20 May 2021 The emotional and sensitive Libertie eventually grows distant from her reserved mother and the distance turns into a chasm once Libertie leaves her small town to attend an all-Black college. Arielle Gray, The Christian Science Monitor, 1 Apr. 2021

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

circa 1594, 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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Time Traveler for chasm

Time Traveler

The first known use of chasm was circa 1594

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Last Updated

14 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Chasm.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Oct. 2021.

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English Language Learners Definition of chasm

: a deep hole or opening in the surface of the earth : gorge
: a major division, separation, or difference between two people, groups, etc.


\ ˈka-zəm How to pronounce chasm (audio) \

Kids Definition of chasm

: a deep split or gap in the earth

More from Merriam-Webster on chasm

Nglish: Translation of chasm for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of chasm for Arabic Speakers


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