abysm

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Middle English abime, from Old French abisme from Late Latin *abyssimus, a superlative of abyssus (bottomless pit), from Ancient Greek ἄβυσσος (ábussos). Cognate to French abîme. See also abyss.[1][2]

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

abysm (plural abysms)

  1. (archaic, poetic) Hell; the infernal pit; the great deep; the primal chaos. [First attested between 1150 and 1350.][2]
  2. (now chiefly literary) An abyss; a gulf, a chasm, a very deep hole. [First attested in the late 15th century.][2]
    • 1623, Shakespeare, Antony and Cleopatra, III, xiii:
      The abysm of hell.

Translations[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Christine A. Lindberg (editor), The Oxford College Dictionary, 2nd edition (Spark Publishing, 2007 [2002], ISBN 978-1-4114-0500-4), page 6
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Lesley Brown (editor), The Shorter Oxford English Dictionary, 5th edition (Oxford University Press, 2003 [1933], ISBN 978-0-19-860575-7), page 11