American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- adj. Abysmal; unfathomable.
- adj. Of or relating to the great depths of the oceans.
- adj. Of or relating to the region of the ocean bottom between the bathyal and hadal zones, from depths of approximately 3,000 to 6,000 meters (10,000 to 20,000 feet).
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- Relating to or like an abyss; abysmal. Inhabiting or belonging to the depths of the ocean: as, an abyssal mollusk.
- In petrol., applied by Brögger and others to deep-seated or plutonic igneous rocks.
- Ethiopic, called by its users the Ge'ez, usually written Geëz, the language of the Aga'azi, ‘emigrants’ from southern Arabia who had settled in Tigré (now a province of Abyssinia) about 335 a. d. Superseded by Amharic as the official language of the country about the year 1300, it has continued to be the liturgic language of the Abyssinian Church, somewhat as Latin in the Roman Catholic Church. Originally written, like the other Semitic languages, from right to left, the direction was early changed, under Greek influence, to the European order (from left to right). The alphabet consists of peculiar characters of Himyaritic origin. There is considerable literature, including an ancient translation of the Bible. The two principal modern representatives of Geëz are the dialects knowu as Tigré (Tigrē, Tigraï, native Tigraï), spoken by nomadic tribes in the extreme north, and
- Tigriña, a more corrupt form largely mixed with Amharic words, as spoken in the old province of Tigré. The Hamitic family is represented in Abyssinia by Agau (Agou), spoken by a large number of Abyssinians and Tigré people, by Galla, and by many others.
GNU Webster's 1913
- adj. Belonging to, or resembling, an abyss; unfathomable.
- adj. relating to ocean depths from 2000 to 5000 meters
- adj. resembling an abyss in depth; so deep as to be unmeasurable
“The deepest parts of the ocean are known as the abyssal zone.”
“While neither of these fish and jellies - and there are far too many to name here - are monsters in size, there is something called abyssal gigantism, the tendency for other forms of extremely deep-dwelling organisms to not only be odd, strange, bizarre and darned creepy but also - yes, you guessed it - HUGE. via)”
“When you catch him he'll be wearing a double-breasted suit. 'to its abyssal low.”
“This indulgence, especially so on the part of an ex-president, is something of a mephitis, an abyssal seeking of ever lower depths and ever more perverse rhetorical indulgences.”
“Even going through it online I learned that, while ‘abysm’ (a lovely word) has fallen out of use in favour of ‘abyss’, we tend to use ‘abysmal’ rather than ‘abyssal’.”
“In terms of HIV/AIDS, the gap is so abyssal that it's hard to provide detailed data, but the fact is that there are only five million people on treatment today when 15 million need to be on treatment.”
“Fifteen months later, in the abyssal depths of the South Pacific, a whale rammed the ship head-on.”
“And then to have the opportunity to go to the next step and to see what that sperm whale is doing in its abyssal world, a mile deep into the ocean, when we couldn't possibly be with it any other way than with the Crittercam [the underwater camera system we developed].”
“They have explored the Sigsbee Escarpment, the long cliff at the edge of the abyssal plain; they've poked holes in the Mississippi Fold Belt and the Perdido Fan Fold Belt.”
“From the abyssal deeps of Mesopotamia to the void of El, with their sun-pulling chariots, rainbow bridges and crystal spheres, every culture has sought to describe a cosmic infrastructure, a hierarchy of spaces and agencies that contain and harness the fundamental forces of light, matter and entropy.”
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