- of or like an abyss; immeasurable; unfathomable.
- of or relating to the biogeographic zone of the ocean bottom between the bathyal and hadal zones: from depths of approximately 13,000 to 21,000 feet (4000 to 6500 meters).
Origin of abyssal
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for abyssal
When Dr. Morton said there were abyssal fish in the lagoon, I knew why they'd be there.
Core-takers had been dropped to get samplings of abyssal mud.
Such a rock is necessarily oceanic; but more than this, it is abyssal.The Story of the Earth and Man
J. W. Dawson
In their morphological characters they gradually approach the pelagic forms upwards and the abyssal downwards.
Dimya; recent in abyssal depths and fossil since the Jurassic.
- of or belonging to the ocean depths, esp below 2000 metres (6500 feet)abyssal zone
- geology another word for plutonic
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 abyssal
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
- Relating to the greatest depths of the oceans and to the organisms that live there. The abyssal zone encompasses all depths below 4,000 m (13,120 ft).
- Relating to the region of the ocean bottom between the bathyal and hadal zones, from depths of approximately 2,000 to 6,000 m (6,560 to 19,680 ft). The abyssal zone includes nearly two-thirds of the Earth's surface.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.