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First attested in the 1690's. From Medieval Latin abyssalis,[1][2] from abyssus (abyss) + -alis (-al).[3] Equivalent to abyss +‎ -al.



abyssal (not comparable)

  1. (archaic) Belonging to, or resembling, an abyss; unfathomable. [First attested in the mid 17th century.][1]
  2. (geography) Of or belonging to the ocean depths, especially below 2000 metres (6500 ft): abyssal zone. [First attested in the mid 19th century.][1]
  3. (geology) Pertaining to or occurring at excessive depths in the earth's crust; plutonic. [First attested in the late 19th century.][1]

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  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 “abyssal” 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 978-0-19-860457-0, page 11.
  2. ^ Laurence Urdang (editor), The Random House College Dictionary (Random House, 1984 [1975], ISBN 0-394-43600-8), page 7
  3. ^ Philip Babcock Gove (editor), Webster's Third International Dictionary of the English Language, Unabridged (G. & C. Merriam Co., 1976 [1909], ISBN 0-87779-101-5), page 9



abyssal (feminine singular abyssale, masculine plural abyssaux, feminine plural abyssales)

  1. abyssal

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