American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. An immeasurably deep chasm, depth, or void: "lost in the vast abysses of space and time” ( Loren Eiseley).
- n. The primeval chaos out of which it was believed that the earth and sky were formed.
- n. The abode of evil spirits; hell.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. A bottomless gulf; any deep, immeasurable space; anything profound and unfathomable, whether literally or figuratively; specifically, hell; the bottomless pit.
- n. In heraldry, the center of an escutcheon; the fesse-point.
- To engulf.
- n. Moral depravity; vast intellectual or moral depth.
- n. An impending catastrophic happening.
- n. heraldry The center of an escutcheon.
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. A bottomless or unfathomed depth, gulf, or chasm; hence, any deep, immeasurable, and, specifically, hell, or the bottomless pit.
- n. Infinite time; a vast intellectual or moral depth.
- n. (Her.) The center of an escutcheon.
- n. a bottomless gulf or pit; any unfathomable (or apparently unfathomable) cavity or chasm or void extending below (often used figuratively)
- Middle English abissus, from Late Latin abyssus, from Greek abussos, bottomless : a-, without; see a-1 + bussos, bottom. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“I know the abyss is there, but the picket fence stops me stumbling in by accident.”
“Thu 10/29/09 3: 29 PM the abyss is the most UNDERRATED of his movies. its fabulous but no one ever remembers it”
“His body language and choice of words—he used the word "abyss" four times—betrayed a man humbled by a difficult struggle.”
“Drawing them back from the abyss is the real challenge that confronts us.”
“However, you cannot invariably sell that to the middle-class or lower-class Americans, and so the types instead, write about how all we need to do to get out of the abyss is become a more educated society.”
“Now, if the abyss is scary, what is scarier, what generates it, what you will find in it, or what comes from it?”
“But staying in the real estate abyss is like throwing money down a rat hole.”
“Gaze into the abyss from the comfort of your own h ...”
“It's a bumpy, slow ride, and the visitor won't forget the final stretch, when the distance between the bus 'wheels and a great, yawning abyss is a matter of inches.”
“And don't you think the fear of falling back down into that abyss is one of the primary, albeit ineffective, motivators of humankind?”
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