[n] a bottomless gulf or pit
\A*byss"\, n. [L. abyssus a bottomless gulf, fr. Gr. ? bottomless; 'a priv. + ? depth, bottom.]
1. A bottomless or unfathomed depth, gulf, or chasm; hence, any deep, immeasurable, and, specifically, hell, or the bottomless pit. Ye powers and spirits of this nethermost abyss. --Milton. The throne is darkness, in the abyss of light. --Dryden.
2. Infinite time; a vast intellectual or moral depth. The abysses of metaphysical theology. --Macaulay. In unfathomable abysses of disgrace. --Burke.
3. (Her.) The center of an escutcheon. Note: This word, in its leading uses, is associated with the cosmological notions of the Hebrews, having reference to a supposed illimitable mass of waters from which our earth sprung, and beneath whose profound depths the wicked were punished. --Encyc. Brit.