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- (now rare) Pertaining to, or resembling an abyss. [First attested in the mid 17th century.]
- (figuratively) extremely bad; terrible.
- Nouns to which "abysmal" is often applied: ignorance, record, performance, poverty, conditions, quality, perplexity, result, service, and failure.
- The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.
- Lesley Brown, editor-in-chief; William R. Trumble and Angus Stevenson, editors (2002) , “abysmal”, in The Shorter Oxford English Dictionary on Historical Principles, 5th edition, Oxford; New York, N.Y.: Oxford University Press, →ISBN, page 11
- abysmal in Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, G. & C. Merriam, 1913.
- abysmal in The Century Dictionary, New York, N.Y.: The Century Co., 1911.
- Obsolete spelling of