[ uh-biz-uh m ]
/ əˈbɪz əm /


an abyss.


Nearby words

  1. abwatt,
  2. abwehr,
  3. aby,
  4. abydos,
  5. abyla,
  6. abysmal,
  7. abyss,
  8. abyss.,
  9. abyssal,
  10. abyssinia

Origin of abysm

1250–1300; Middle English abi(s)me < Middle French abisme < Vulgar Latin *abyssimus, a neologistic pseudo-superlative of Late Latin abyssus abyss

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for abysm

British Dictionary definitions for abysm


/ (əˈbɪzəm) /


an archaic word for abyss

Word Origin for abysm

C13: via Old French from Medieval Latin abysmus abyss

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for abysm



"bottomless gulf, greatest depths," now chiefly poetic, c.1300, from Old French abisme (Modern French abîme), from Vulgar Latin *abyssimus (source of Spanish and Portuguese abismo), which represents either a superlative of Latin abyssus or a formation on analogy of Greek-derived words in -ismus; see abyss.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper