1. a deep, immeasurable space, gulf, or cavity; vast chasm.
  2. anything profound, unfathomable, or infinite: the abyss of time.
  3. (in ancient cosmogony)
    1. the primal chaos before Creation.
    2. the infernal regions; hell.
    3. a subterranean ocean.

  1. Abyssinia.
  2. Abyssinian.


  1. a very deep or unfathomable gorge or chasm
  2. anything that appears to be endless or immeasurably deep, such as time, despair, or shame
  3. hell or the infernal regions conceived of as a bottomless pit

late 14c., earlier abime (c.1300, from a form in Old French), from Late Latin abyssus “bottomless pit,” from Greek abyssos (limne) “bottomless (pool),” from a- “without” (see a- (2)) + byssos “bottom,” possibly related to bathos “depth.”

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