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1. Abysmal; unfathomable.
2. Of or relating to the great depths of the oceans.
3. Of or relating to the region of the ocean bottom between the bathyal and hadal zones, from depths of approximately 2,000 to 6,000 meters (6,500 to 20,000 feet).


1. (Physical Geography) of or belonging to the ocean depths, esp below 2000 metres (6500 feet): abyssal zone.
2. (Geological Science) geology another word for plutonic


(əˈbɪs əl)

1. of or like an abyss; immeasurable; unfathomable.
2. of or pertaining to the biogeographic zone of the ocean bottom between the bathyal and hadal zones, from depths of approximately 13,000 to 21,000 ft. (4000 to 6500 m).
[1685–95; < Medieval Latin]
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Adj.1.abyssal - relating to ocean depths from 2000 to 5000 metersabyssal - relating to ocean depths from 2000 to 5000 meters
2.abyssal - resembling an abyss in depth; so deep as to be unmeasurable; "the abyssal depths of the ocean"
deep - having great spatial extension or penetration downward or inward from an outer surface or backward or laterally or outward from a center; sometimes used in combination; "a deep well"; "a deep dive"; "deep water"; "a deep casserole"; "a deep gash"; "deep massage"; "deep pressure receptors in muscles"; "deep shelves"; "a deep closet"; "surrounded by a deep yard"; "hit the ball to deep center field"; "in deep space"; "waist-deep"


References in periodicals archive ?
To see how well the plan might work, Sarah Colley and John Thomson of the Institute for Oceanographic Sciences in Godalming, England, studied a 30-meter-long sediment core from an abyssal plain in the northeast Atlantic Ocean.
ODP has chosen two of these pairs as prime examples of volcanic and nonvolcanic end-members of continental fragmentation and ocean-basin formation: southeast Greenland-Norway and Iberia Abyssal Plain-eastern Canada, respectively.
Another possibility is to look for evidence of spontaneous fission activity in meteoric material and also in hot brines taken from abyssal fractures of the earth's crust.
Rare, very large turbidity currents periodically deposit thick sequences of sediment on oceanic abyssal plains, but their return periods span many thousands of years.
This work was being done as part of the large-scale Continental Margins Survey: 222,000 kilometers of continuous geophysical profiles recorded at 4-kilometer intervals around Australia, from close inshore to the abyssal plain--a survey far ahead of its time in scope and imagination.
After 15 years of researching deep-ocean sedimentation, Orrin Pilkey realized that at cocktail parties people would listen more attentively when he talked about coastal erosion, hurricanes, and shoreline processes than about turbidity currents and abyssal plains.
Hence, there are no mountain tops one can scale to directly gaze at vast expanses of the abyssal seafloor.
For example, an annual flux of rock particles from the air at a station in the Demerara Abyssal Plain was 4.
No Antarctic waste, no arid desert or barren mountaintop or volcanic inferno or abyssal ocean trench on Earth is more hostile to life than the most benign microclimate anywhere else in the solar system.
Faulkner is here, I think, creating an enormously complicated figure, abyssal and generative, of the idea of the "sign.
19 Maybe no equivalent before Rousseau, that is, until personal failure becomes the abyssal theme of successful works of art.
Aristotle was surprised that the Mediterranean was deep but hardly imagined it sank to abyssal depths of four thousand meters.