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.

The throne is darkness, in the abyss of light.

2. Infinite time; a vast intellectual or moral depth.

The abysses of metaphysical theology.

In unfathomable abysses of disgrace.

3. (Her.) The center of an escutcheon.

☞ 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.