AskDefine | Define abyss

Dictionary Definition

abyss n : a bottomless gulf or pit; any unfathomable (or apparently unfathomable) cavity or chasm or void extending below (often used figuratively) [syn: abysm]

User Contributed Dictionary



From abissus < abyssus < sc=polytonic sc=polytonic+ sc=polytonic.


  • , /əˈbɪs/ /@"bIs/


  1. A bottomless or unfathomed depth, gulf, or chasm; hence, any deep, immeasurable, and, specifically, hell, or the bottomless pit.
  2. Infinite time; a vast intellectual or moral depth.
  3. The center of an escutcheon.


Usage notes

This word, in its leading uses, is associated with the cosmological notions of the Hebrews, having reference to a supposed illimitable mass of waters from which our earth sprung, and beneath whose profound depths the wicked were punished.


a bottomless or unfathomed depth
  • Chinese: 深淵, 深渊
  • Czech: propast
  • Dutch: afgrond, ravijn
  • German: Abgrund
  • Italian: abisso
  • Norwegian: avgrunn
  • Polish: otchłań, przepaść
  • Portuguese: abismo
  • Russian: бездна, пучина qualifier sea
  • West Frisian: ôfgrûn
infinite time; a vast intellectual or moral depth
  • Chinese: 深淵, 深渊
  • Dutch: afgrond, kloof
  • German: Abgrund
  • Italian: abisso
  • Norwegian: avgrunn
  • Polish: otchłań, przepaść
  • Portuguese: abismo
  • Russian: бездна

Derived terms

Extensive Definition

Abyss may mean:

See also

abyss in Spanish: Abismo
abyss in French: Abyss
abyss in Dutch: The Abyss
abyss in Japanese: アビス (曖昧さ回避)
abyss in Russian: Бездна

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

Bassalia, Gehenna, Sheol, Tophet, abysm, abyssal zone, arroyo, bathyal zone, benthos, bottom waters, bottomless depths, box canyon, breach, break, canyon, cavity, chap, chasm, check, chimney, chink, cleft, cleuch, clough, col, coulee, couloir, crack, cranny, crater, crevasse, crevice, cut, cwm, deep, deepness, defile, dell, depth, dig, diggings, dike, ditch, donga, draw, excavation, fault, fissure, flaw, flume, fracture, furrow, gap, gape, gash, gorge, groove, ground, gulch, gulf, gully, hades, hole, hollow, incision, inferno, inner space, joint, kloof, leak, mine, moat, netherworld, notch, nullah, ocean bottom, ocean depths, ocean floor, opening, pass, passage, pelagic zone, perdition, pit, profoundness, profundity, quarry, ravine, rent, rift, rime, rupture, scissure, seam, shaft, slit, slot, split, the deep, the deep sea, the deeps, the depths, trench, underworld, valley, void, wadi, well, workings, yawning abyss
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