I. noun 1. a deep or seemingly bottomless chasm • a rope led down into the dark abyss.
2. a wide or profound difference between people; a gulf • the abyss between the two nations.
3. the regions of hell conceived of as a bottomless pit • Satan’s dark abyss.
4. ( the abyss) — a catastrophic situation seen as likely to occur • teetering on the edge of the abyss of a total political wipeout.
– origin late Middle English (in the sense ‘infernal pit’): via late Latin from Greek abussos ‘bottomless’, from a- ‘without’ + bussos ‘depth’.