One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
An abyss.‘the abysm from which nightmares crawl’
- ‘For its self-referential abysms are only made darker by the thought that Rosemary Squires didn't pour her heart into this song: Irving Berlin did.’
- ‘Crystal reached her shaking hand and took it as if it was her last salvation before she falls in the abysm.’
- ‘‘What she offered,’ notes the author, ‘in her most sensual, primitive, uncivilized and, from the standpoint of normal aesthetics, distasteful acts slipped over the brink - and she could take you with her - into the abysms of the sacred.’’
Middle English: from Old French abisme, medieval Latin abysmus, alteration of late Latin abyssus ‘bottomless pit’, the ending being assimilated to the Greek ending -ismos.
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