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See also: Abyss.
From Middle English abissus, from Late Latin abyssus (“a bottomless gulf”), from Ancient Greek ἄβυσσος (ábussos, “bottomless”), from ἀ- (a-, “not”) + βυσσός (bussós, “deep place”), from βυθός (buthós, “deep place”).
- (Received Pronunciation) IPA(key): /əˈbɪs/
- (US) IPA(key): /əˈbɪs/, /æˈbɪs/, enPR: ə-bĭs'
- Rhymes: -ɪs
Audio (US) (file)
abyss (plural abysses)
- Hell; the bottomless pit; primeval chaos; a confined subterranean ocean. [First attested around 1350 to 1470.]
- (frequently figuratively) A bottomless or unfathomed depth, gulf, or chasm; hence, any deep, immeasurable; any void space. [First attested in the late 16th century.]
- Anything infinite, immeasurable, or profound. [First attested in the late 16th century.]
- Moral depravity; vast intellectual or moral depth.
- An impending catastrophic happening.
- (heraldry) The center of an escutcheon.
- (oceanography) The abyssal zone.
- (figuratively) A difference, especially a large difference, between groups.
- (impending catastrophic happening): It is typically preceded by the word the.
- For quotations of use of this term, see Citations:abyss.
- (difference): gulf
anything infinite, immeasurable, or profound
moral depravity, vast intellectual or moral depth
heraldry: center of an escutcheon
abyssal zone — see abyssal zone
- 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.
Translations to be checked
- “abyss” in Lesley Brown, editor-in-chief; William R. Trumble and Angus Stevenson, editors, The Shorter Oxford English Dictionary on Historical Principles, 5th edition, Oxford; New York, N.Y.: Oxford University Press, 2002, →ISBN, page 11.
- ^ “abyss” in William Morris, editor, The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, New York, N.Y.: American Heritage Publishing Co., 1971 , →OCLC, page 6.
- ^ Philip Babcock Gove (editor), Webster's Third International Dictionary of the English Language, Unabridged (G. & C. Merriam Co., 1976 , →ISBN), page 9