Definition of abyss noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



BrE BrE//əˈbɪs//
; NAmE NAmE//əˈbɪs//
[usually singular] (formal or literary)
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a very deep wide space or hole that seems to have no bottom Ahead of them was a gaping abyss. (figurative) an abyss of ignorance/despair/loneliness They took a long look into the abyss before deciding whether to jump. (figurative) The country is stepping back from the edge of an abyss. teetering on the edge of the abyss of total political wipeout Word Originlate Middle English (in the sense ‘infernal pit’): via late Latin from Greek abussos ‘bottomless’, from a- ‘without’ + bussos ‘depth’.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: abyss