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[kaz-uh m] /ˈkæz əm/
a yawning fissure or deep cleft in the earth's surface; gorge.
a breach or wide fissure in a wall or other structure.
a marked interruption of continuity; gap:
a chasm in time.
a sundering breach in relations, as a divergence of opinions, beliefs, etc., between persons or groups.
Origin of chasm
1590-1600; apocopated variant of chasma < Latin < Greek, equivalent to cha- (root of chaínein to gape; see yawn) + -(a)sma resultative suffix
Related forms
chasmal, chasmic, adjective
chasmed, adjective
chasmy, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for chasm
  • At the same time, science opened up a yawning chasm of the unknown inside ordinary objects.
  • Thrice each day the water rushed into a frightful chasm, and thrice was disgorged.
  • If there was a sense of awe in the presence of the gods, there was no sense of moral separation, no yawning chasm of unworthiness.
  • Yet here-in this seemingly inhospitable chasm-life thrives.
  • The chasm allows scientists an important glimpse at cross-sections of lunar geological layers.
  • Renewable resources can bridge the chasm between environmental protection and economic growth.
  • Yet here, in this seemingly inhospitable chasm, life thrives.
  • The chasm between the initial vision and the final product is shocking and has been an easy target for critics.
  • Instead, they cast around for businesses to buy, or try to hurdle the chasm with what they have got.
  • But in the process, smart-home networking will cross the chasm to general adoption.
British Dictionary definitions for chasm


a deep cleft in the ground; abyss
a break in continuity; gap
a wide difference in interests, feelings, etc
Derived Forms
chasmal (ˈkæzməl), chasmic, adjective
Word Origin
C17: from Latin chasma, from Greek khasma; related to Greek khainein to gape
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for chasm

1590s, "deep crack in the earth," from Latin chasma, from Greek khasma "yawning hollow, gulf," related to khaskein "to yawn," and thus to chaos. In English in 17c. often spelled chasma. Figurative use from 1640s. Related: Chasmal; chasmic.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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chasm in Technology
The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010
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