American Dictionary of the English Language

Webster's Dictionary 1828

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ABYSS', noun [Gr. bottomless, from a priv. and bottom, Ion. See Bottom.]

1. A bottomless gulf; used also for a deep mass of waters, supposed by some to have encompassed the earth before the flood.

Darkness was upon the face of the deep, or abyss as it is in the Septuagint. Genesis 1:2.

The word is also used for an immense cavern in the earth, in which God is supposed to have collected all the waters on the third day of the creation. It is used also for hell, Erebus.

2. That which is immeasurable; that in which any thing is lost.

Thy throne is darkness, in the abyss of light.

The abyss of time.

3. In antiquity, the temple of Proserpine, so called from the immense treasures it was supposed to contain.

4. In heraldry, the center of an escutcheon.

He bears azure, a fleur de lis, in abyss