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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
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • A young fellow of seventeen or eighteen crawled over the brink of the chasm and sat on the rocks to breathe himself.

    Motor Matt's Clue Stanley R. Matthews
  • Cautiously he drew back, still looking about for some means to cross the chasm.

    The Monster Men Edgar Rice Burroughs
  • He drew the steel, and, flourishing it before him, retreated toward the tree-trunk that extended across the chasm.

    Motor Matt's Mystery Stanley R. Matthews
  • The wind hurled them into a chasm, 117 and their bodies were never recovered.

    The Heart of Thunder Mountain Edfrid A. Bingham
  • I took it heartily in mine, glad that the chasm between us was bridged at last.

    A New Sensation Albert Ross
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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