[ bath-uh-skeyf, -skaf ]
/ ˈbæθ əˌskeɪf, -ˌskæf /

noun Oceanography.

a navigable, submersible vessel for exploring the depths of the ocean, having a separate, overhead chamber filled with gasoline for buoyancy and iron or steel weights for ballast.
Also bath·y·scaph [bath-uh-skaf] /ˈbæθ əˌskæf/, bath·y·scape [bath-uh-skeyp] /ˈbæθ əˌskeɪp/.

Origin of bathyscaphe

1947; < French, equivalent to bathy- bathy- + Greek skáphos ship; coined by Auguste Piccard Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for bathyscaph


bathyscaphe (ˈbæθɪˌskeɪf, -ˌskæf) or bathyscape (ˈbæθɪˌskæp)

/ (ˈbæθɪˌskæf) /


a submersible vessel having a flotation compartment with an observation capsule underneath, capable of reaching ocean depths of over 10 000 metres (about 5000 fathoms)

Word Origin for bathyscaph

C20: from bathy- + -scaph, from Greek skaphē light boat
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 bathyscaph



"diving apparatus for reaching great depths," 1947, name coined by its inventor, Swiss "scientific extremist" Prof. Auguste Piccard (1884-1962), from Greek bathys "deep" (see benthos) + skaphe "light boat, skiff" (see skaphoid).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Science definitions for bathyscaph


[ băthĭ-skăf′, -skāf′ ]

A free-diving vessel used to explore the ocean at great depths. The original bathyscaphe, constructed in 1948, was made of a cylindrical metal float and a suspended steel ball that could hold two people. The float contained gasoline used to lift the vessel, and heavy iron material used for ballast. Design improvements allowed the second bathyscaphe in 1960 to descend to a record 10,912 m (35,791 ft) in the Marianas Trench in the western Pacific Ocean, almost to the deepest level ever sounded on Earth.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Culture definitions for bathyscaph


[ (bath-i-skaf) ]

A deep-sea research vessel that carries a crew and is free to maneuver independently.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.