abyss

[uh-bis]

noun

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

Origin of abyss

1350–1400; earlier abisse, Middle English abissus < Late Latin abyssus < Greek ábyssos bottomless, equivalent to a- a-6 + byssós bottom of the sea

Abyss.

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

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British Dictionary definitions for abyss

abyss

noun

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

Word Origin for abyss

C16: via Late Latin from Greek abussos bottomless (as in the phrase abussos limnē bottomless lake), from a- 1 + bussos depth
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 abyss
n.

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."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper