Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • adjective Abysmal; unfathomable.
  • adjective Of or relating to the great depths of the oceans.
  • adjective Of or relating to the region of the ocean bottom between the bathyal and hadal zones, from depths of approximately 2,000 to 6,000 meters (6,500 to 20,000 feet).

from The Century Dictionary.

  • 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of the Aga'azi, ‘emigrants’ from southern Arabia who had settled in Tigré (now a province of Abyssinia) about 335 a. d. Superseded by Amharic as the official language of the country about the year 1300, it has continued to be the liturgic language of the Abyssinian Church, somewhat as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.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • adjective Belonging to, or resembling, an abyss; unfathomable.
  • adjective (Phys. Geog.) one of the belts or zones into which Sir E. Forbes divides the bottom of the sea in describing its plants, animals, etc. It is the one furthest from the shore, embracing all beyond one hundred fathoms deep.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adjective relating to ocean depths from 2000 to 5000 meters
  • adjective resembling an abyss in depth; so deep as to be unmeasurable

Etymologies

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Examples

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  • The deep ocean - it would be abysmal to be trapped in the abyssal.

    May 5, 2008