One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1Extremely bad; appalling.‘the quality of her work is abysmal’
very bad, dreadful, awful, terrible, frightful, atrocious, disgraceful, deplorable, shameful, woeful, hopeless, lamentable, laughable, substandard, poor, inadequate, inferior, unsatisfactoryView synonyms
- ‘And he's so far not lived up to any single commitment that he's made, which is a pretty abysmal record.’
- ‘And one reason it's not been achieved is the abysmal lack of planning for an aftermath which was violent.’
- ‘Certainly the abysmal suffering and despair in many poor countries should cause us sickening guilt.’
- ‘Since the demise of the Catch Me Com buses the No 4 Highercroft route has degenerated from poor to absolutely abysmal.’
- ‘My summing up of her abysmal and shameful performance is written below.’
- ‘I've often wondered how they could get away with some of the cooking programmes that are on TV, considering how abysmal the hygiene shown is.’
- ‘If an abysmal new series sneaks on to the schedules without provoking an outburst from us, it can trundle through its six-week schedule unscathed.’
- ‘But many schools serving the poor are of such abysmal quality that many children drop out of school in frustration.’
- ‘For all the insensitivity of this mistake, it represents the abysmal lack of knowledge about the Baltics in the minds of many a Westerner.’
- ‘The research will be carried out in Glasgow, where the handing out of statins is most likely to happen, because of the city's abysmal heart attack record.’
- ‘York University had an abysmal five per cent turnout, in part because in the previous year they hadn't had an election.’
- ‘Despite throwing his hat in the ring for almost every job in the next three years, the best he could get was a brief, abysmal spell at Bradford City.’
- ‘In this budget, the government continues its abysmal record on assisting the world's poorest people.’
- ‘Carlow's league campaign has descended from early promise to an abysmal second half display against Wexford last time out.’
- ‘The down side is excess weight, poor performance and abysmal gas mileage.’
- ‘Yet, even though official statistics reveal this abysmal state of affairs, what is the Government's response?’
- ‘There was no denying Ballylinan's superiority as they completely overshadowed an abysmal Rock performance.’
- ‘Happily, their plugs are configured differently or I would have fried my laptop in my abysmal ignorance.’
- ‘Sadly, it was an abysmal offer, some £25,000 below the asking price!’
- ‘I don't know, but I am sure that anonymity plays its part when these abysmal and frighteningly stupid people decide to view this stuff.’
2literary Very deep.
profound, extreme, utter, complete, thorough, deep, endless, immeasurable, boundless, incalculable, unfathomable, bottomlessView synonyms
- ‘Will computers close the final gap, and find in their own depths, abysmal or otherwise, an instinctual feel for the wrong move at the right time?’
- ‘He yawned widely; from the depths of the abysmal abyss stretching beyond his throat emerged his tongue.’
- ‘He wore a deep green robe and had the same black abysmal eyes as Mrs. Flockhart.’
Mid 17th century (used literally as in abysmal (sense 2)): from abysm. abysmal (sense 1) dates from the early 19th century.
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