abysmal

[ uh-biz-muh l ]
/ əˈbɪz məl /

adjective

of or like an abyss; immeasurably deep or great.
extremely or hopelessly bad or severe: abysmal ignorance; abysmal poverty.

Nearby words

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

Origin of abysmal

First recorded in 1650–60; abysm + -al1

Related formsa·bys·mal·ly, adverbul·tra-a·bys·mal, adjective

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

Examples from the Web for abysmal


British Dictionary definitions for abysmal

abysmal

/ (əˈbɪzməl) /

adjective

immeasurable; very greatabysmal stupidity
informal extremely badan abysmal film
Derived Formsabysmally, adverb

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 abysmal

abysmal

adj.

1650s, formed in English from abysm + -al (1). Weakened sense of "extremely bad" is first recorded 1904, perhaps from abysmal ignorance (suggestive of its "depth"), an expression attested from 1847. Related: Abysmally.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper