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Definition a hole or dropoff so deep the bottom cannot be seen — often used figuratively to imply a frightening bottomless pit
  • At the end of the story, Gandalf falls with the demon into the abyss.
abyss = seemingly bottomless pit
  • I looked into the abyss of human suffering
  • abyss = bottomless pit (figurative)
  • Our foot is stuck on the accelerator and we are headed towards an abyss.
  • abyss = bottomless pit (figurative)
  • She said the project pulled her out of the abyss after her mother died.
  • abyss = bottomless pit (figurative)
  • These were men who had built up wealth and social status over long careers and now found themselves looking into the abyss. [of a stock market crash]
    Alan Greenspan  --  The Age of Turbulence
  • Early on a difficult climb, especially a difficult solo climb, you constantly feel the abyss pulling at your back.
    Jon Krakauer  --  Into the Wild
  • abyss = long drop
  • The immediate contingency overtook him, pulled him back from the edge of the theoretical abyss.
    F. Scott Fitzgerald  --  The Great Gatsby
  • abyss = bottomless pit (figurative usage)
  • She did not feel the abyss opening beneath her feet at the thought of lies becoming truths.
    George Orwell  --  1984
  • abyss = bottomless pit
  • I feel as if I were walking on the edge of a precipice, towards which thousands are crowding and endeavouring to plunge me into the abyss.
    Mary Shelley  --  Frankenstein
  • abyss = bottomless pit
  • He held his pants out into an abyss and let them fall into darkness.
    Ray Bradbury  --  Fahrenheit 451
  • abyss = seemingly bottomless pit
  • It's a heavy blow for us, not only because those poor Jews are once again balancing on the edge of an abyss, but also because it's terrible for Mr. van Hoeven.
    Anne Frank  --  The Diary of a Young Girl
  • abyss = bottomless pit (figurative for a frightening situation)
  • I am frightened: I dare think this way no more. This way lies the abyss. It is not now the time but I will not lose these thoughts, I will keep them, shut them away until the war is ended.
    Erich Maria Remarque  --  All Quiet on the Western Front
  • abyss = frightening bottomless pit (figurative)
  • Only when Jack himself roused a gaudy bird from a primitive nest of sticks was the silence shattered and echoes set ringing by a harsh cry that seemed to come out of the abyss of ages.
    William Golding  --  Lord of the Flies
  • abyss = bottomless pit (figurative usage)
  • PUTNAM—at the moment he is intent upon getting Parris, for whom he has only contempt, to move toward the abyss: Mr. Parris, I have taken your part in all contention here, and I would continue; but I cannot if you hold back in this.
    Arthur Miller  --  The Crucible
  • abyss = frightening bottomless pit (figurative)
  • At last, her shot being all expended, the child stood still and gazed at Hester, with that little laughing image of a fiend peeping out—or, whether it peeped or no, her mother so imagined it—from the unsearchable abyss of her black eyes.
    Nathaniel Hawthorne  --  The Scarlet Letter
  • abyss = bottomless pit (figurative usage)
  • But my very feelings changed to repulsion and terror when I saw the whole man slowly emerge from the window and begin to crawl down the castle wall over the dreadful abyss, face down with his cloak spreading out around him like great wings.
    Bram Stoker  --  Dracula
  • abyss = long drop
  • The nerve-grinding squeal of the spike cutting through the ground sent a shiver up Thomas's spine, though a second later the Griever tumbled into the abyss.
    James Dashner  --  The Maze Runner
  • abyss = a drop-off so high the bottom cannot be seen (as at the top of a cliff or deep pit)
  • I am young, I am twenty years old; yet I know nothing of life but despair, death, fear, and fatuous superficiality cast over an abyss of sorrow.
    Erich Maria Remarque  --  All Quiet on the Western Front
  • abyss = bottomless pit (figurative)
  • "I do forgive you, Hester," replied the minister at length, with a deep utterance, out of an abyss of sadness, but no anger.
    Nathaniel Hawthorne  --  The Scarlet Letter
  • abyss = bottomless it (figurative usage)
  • is simply one continual watch against the menace of death;—it has transformed us into unthinking animals in order to give us the weapon of instinct—it has reinforced us with dullness, so that we do not go to pieces before the horror, which would overwhelm us if we had clear, conscious thought—it has awakened in us the sense of comradeship, so that we escape the abyss of solitude—it has lent us the indifference of wild creatures, so that in spite of all, we perceive the positive in every moment, and store it up as a reserve against the onslaught of nothingness.
    Erich Maria Remarque  --  All Quiet on the Western Front
abyss = bottomless pit (figurative)

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