• WordNet 3.6
    • n abyss a bottomless gulf or pit; any unfathomable (or apparently unfathomable) cavity or chasm or void extending below (often used figuratively)
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • Abyss A bottomless or unfathomed depth, gulf, or chasm; hence, any deep, immeasurable, and, specifically, hell, or the bottomless pit. "Ye powers and spirits of this nethermost abyss .""The throne is darkness, in the abyss of light."
    • Abyss Infinite time; a vast intellectual or moral depth. "The abysses of metaphysical theology.""In unfathomable abysses of disgrace."
    • Abyss (Her) The center of an escutcheon.
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n abyss A bottomless gulf; any deep, immeasurable space; anything profound and unfathomable, whether literally or figuratively; specifically, hell; the bottomless pit.
    • n abyss In heraldry, the center of an escutcheon; the fesse-point.
    • abyss To engulf.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • n Abyss a-bis′ a bottomless gulf: a deep mass of water
    • ***


  • Hallaj
    “Oh you who have been removed from God in his solitude by the abyss of time, how can you expect to reach him without dying?”
  • Logan Pearsall Smith
    “All my life, as down an abyss without a bottom. I have been pouring van loads of information into that vacancy of oblivion I call my mind.”
  • Vladimir Nabokov
    “The cradle rocks above an abyss, and common sense tells us that our existence is but a brief crack of light between two eternities of darkness.”
  • Friedrich Nietzsche
    “He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster. And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you.”
  • Honore De Balzac
    “The heart of a mother is a deep abyss at the bottom of which you will always find forgiveness.”
  • Angelus Silesius
    Angelus Silesius
    “Nothing can throw thee into the infernal abyss so much as this detested word -- heed well! -- this mine and thine.”


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
L. abyssus, a bottomless gulf, fr. Gr. bottomless; 'a priv. + depth, bottom
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
Gr. abyssos, bottomless—a, without, byssos, bottom.


In literature:

She sat there silent, fronting the abyss.
"The Creators" by May Sinclair
He would have plunged into the abyss to get Lily out of it, whatever she had done; yes!
"The Bill-Toppers" by Andre Castaigne
AND the fifth angel sounded; and I saw a star fallen out of heaven to the earth, and there was given to him the key of the pit of the abyss.
"The New Testament of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ." by Various
To take that way to reach the rocks of the shore was to die in the abyss hidden under the treacherous surface.
"The Brass Bell" by Eugène Sue
The abyss was under her feet, and she longed to draw back.
"The Faith Doctor" by Edward Eggleston
At a little distance from the edge could be heard the sound of the roaring, foaming waters in the yawning abyss beneath them.
"Fairy Tales of Hans Christian Andersen" by Hans Christian Andersen
From the binary stars came a whisper across the vast abyss of space.
"The Story of the Heavens" by Robert Stawell Ball
What an abyss lay between the coarseness of Arnoux and the adoration of Frederick!
"Sentimental Education, Volume II" by Gustave Flaubert
The water, troubled an instant, became smooth; the abyss closed mysteriously.
"An Eagle Flight" by José Rizal
Then the Mask stepped upon the platform with his burden, and descended into the dark abyss.
"City Crimes" by Greenhorn

In poetry:

While on the instant
Dulcet voices soft and tender
Issue from the cave's abysses.
"The Purgatory Of St. Patrick - Act III" by Denis Florence MacCarthy
Madness with its wings
Has covered half my soul
It feeds me fiery wine
And lures me into the abyss.
"Requiem" by Anna Akhmatova
Blinded and mad with pain he ran
Toward the precipice,
Unheeding till he headlong fell
Adown the dread abyss.
"Betzko" by Hanford Lennox Gordon
These are the bones of Slaves;
They gleam from the abyss;
They cry, from yawning waves,
"We are the Witnesses!"
"The Witnesses" by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
These are the woes of Slaves;
They glare from the abyss;
They cry, from unknown graves,
"We are the Witnesses!"
"The Witnesses" by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
It rushed like a dark, winged storm,
And was lost in the abyss of time...
Tram-driver, stop,
Stop the tram now.
"The Lost Tram" by Nikolai Stepanovich Gumilev

In news:

The director of The Abyss can now say that he's one of just three people to have ever actually visited it.
James Cameron, others to explore the real abyss .
Chart slips further into abyss .
Sunway Lagoon Expands with Malaysia's First WhiteWater Abyss .
WhiteWater has been commissioned to provide Sunway Lagoon with Malaysia's first Abyss ™ attraction.
'Into the Abyss ': Herzog's latest journey looks into the soul, American justice -- 3 stars.
Deschutes "The Abyss " 2011: Hitting The Wall On The Praise Thing.
We ventured into the bra abyss with our "Best-of Bra Awards".
Don't enter the abyss of Web television without a little help.
Hack-and-slash that never descends into the abyss of suckiness.
The bikes taken from the shop, which hires and sells custom-made cycles , include a blue and red Genesis Flyer, light grey Genesis Abyss and dark grey Genesis Alpitude.
18 days till the nation embarks into the abyss below the fiscal cliff.
Along with marijuana decriminalization in other states, the success of Proposition 36 in California is a ray of hope for those trapped in the abyss of the War on Drugs.
For a long stare into a cold abyss.
Herzog 's 'Abyss' stares down the death penalty.

In science:

Beard JS, Hopkinson L (2000) A fossil, serpentinization-related hydrothermal vent, Ocean Drilling Program Leg 173, Site 1068 (Iberia Abyssal Plain): Some aspects of mineral and fluid chemistry. J.
Magnetism, FeS colloids, and Origins of Life
It was as if these depths constantly bridged over by a structure that was firm enought in spite of its lightness and of its occasional oscillation in the somewhat vertiginous air, invited on occasion, in the interest of their nerves, a dropping of the plummet and a measurement of the abyss.
Random Generation and Approximate Counting of Combinatorial Structures
On the other hand, there exist θ, η ∈ W which are abyssal (not abyssless) and of any exponent (even Liouville), for which the flat product is never defined.
Real Algebraic Number Theory II. Ideological Arithmetic
In this event we say that which are pairwise disjoint, each element of which is bounded by a constant M number is abyssless; e is abyssless yet irresolute, as is the Liouville number L(m) θ is abyssal; if θ is not abyssal, it is called abyssless.
Real Algebraic Number Theory II. Ideological Arithmetic
Thus the set of abyssal real numbers is a strict subset of the irresolute real numbers.
Real Algebraic Number Theory II. Ideological Arithmetic