- ‘the abysm from which nightmares crawl’a literary or poetic term for abyss
- ‘‘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.’’
- ‘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.’
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.