Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
- (now rare) Pertaining to, or resembling an abyss; unending; profound; fathomless; immeasurable. [First attested in the mid 17th century.]
- Geology gives one the same abysmal extent of time that astronomy does of space. [First attested in the early 19th century.]
- (figuratively) Bottomless; extremely bad.
2012 June 9, Owen Phillips, “Euro 2012: Netherlands 0-1 Denmark”, BBC Sport:
- Robben curled an effort against the foot of the post from the edge of the box after being gifted the ball by an abysmal clearance from keeper Stephan Andersen.
- Nouns to which "abysmal" is often applied: ignorance, record, performance, poverty, conditions, quality, perplexity, result, and failure.
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- Lesley Brown (editor), The Shorter Oxford English Dictionary, 5th edition (Oxford University Press, 2003 , ISBN 978-0-19-860575-7), page 11