9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[uh-biz-muh l] /əˈbɪz məl/
of or like an abyss; immeasurably deep or great.
extremely or hopelessly bad or severe:
abysmal ignorance; abysmal poverty.
Origin of abysmal
1650-60; abysm + -al1
Related forms
abysmally, adverb
ultra-abysmal, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
Cite This Source
Examples from the web for abysmally
  • But the two-and-a-half-year-olds, much to my and their parents' surprise, failed abysmally.
  • It is truly scary when the abysmally uninformed are in a position to affect the quality and funding of scientific research.
  • As the work of a social scientist, that article was abysmally bad.
  • The faculty at my university was abysmally low and everyone was expecting conditions to deteriorate.
  • Interest rates on low-risk investments, such as certificates of deposit and money market funds, are abysmally low.
  • It is worth noting that the countries that have these types of policies also tend toward abysmally low birth rates.
  • Right now, they're doing fine at one and abysmally at the other.
  • By the time the group arrived, the wind had died down, but my spirits were abysmally low.
  • Given the abysmally low milk prices of the last few years, the nation's beleaguered dairy farmers need every dollar they can get.
  • She was intellectually arrogant, perhaps, and as a manager she failed abysmally.
British Dictionary definitions for abysmally


immeasurable; very great: abysmal stupidity
(informal) extremely bad: an abysmal film
Derived Forms
abysmally, adverb
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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for abysmally



1650s, formed in English from abysm + -al (1). Weakened sense of "extremely bad" is first recorded 1904, perhaps from abysmal ignorance (suggestive of its "depth"), an expression attested from 1847. Related: Abysmally.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for abysmal

Some English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for abysmally

Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for abysmally