Definition of abyssal in English:

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Pronunciation: /əˈbɪs(ə)l/


chiefly technical
1Relating to or denoting the depths or bed of the ocean, especially between about 3000 and 6000 metres down: the abyssal depths of the Atlantic the genera found in the abyssal North Atlantic
More example sentences
  • They are found in every aquatic habitat from the abyssal depths of the ocean to freshwater streams and ponds; a few can even crawl on land for short periods of time.
  • Bathyal is defined as pertaining to the ocean bottom between the sublittoral and abyssal zones - from depths of approximately 200 to 400 m.
  • Technically, continental shelves are defined as the region of ocean floor between the coast and the shelf-break, where the seafloor steepens into the continental slope and plunges toward the abyssal depths.
1.1 Geology another term for plutonic (sense 1).
Example sentences
  • The fluids that emerge may come in bursts when earthquakes occur; fluid flow may therefore repeat episodically over hundreds of thousands of years as abyssal hills are uplifted and spread away from the mid-ocean ridge crest.
  • The width of the mountain is 4-6 times greater than that of most abyssal hills.
  • The incoming sediments beneath the 3 km deep Oman abyssal plain consist of 3 km of Makran sands that are derived from the north.


Mid 17th century: from late Latin abyssalis 'belonging to an abyss' (see abyss).

Words that rhyme with abyssal

bristle, epistle, gristle, missal, scissel, thistle, whistle

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: abys|sal

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