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1. a very deep or unfathomable gorge or chasm
2. hell or the infernal regions conceived of as a bottomless pit
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005

What does it mean when you dream about an abyss?

An abyss is a natural symbol of emptiness and meaninglessness. It can also represent the need to detach oneself from an overwhelming condition or relationship.

The Dream Encyclopedia, Second Edition © 2009 Visible Ink Press®. All rights reserved.
References in classic literature ?
Into this wilde Abyss, The Womb of nature and perhaps her Grave, Of neither Sea, nor Shore, nor Air, nor Fire, But all these in thir pregnant causes mixt Confus'dly, and which thus must ever fight, Unless th' Almighty Maker them ordain His dark materials to create more Worlds, Into this wilde Abyss the warie fiend Stood on the brink of Hell and look'd a while, Pondering his Voyage; for no narrow frith He had to cross.
Sin and Death amain Following his track, such was the will of Heav'n, Pav'd after him a broad and beat'n way Over the dark Abyss, whose boiling Gulf Tamely endur'd a Bridge of wondrous length From Hell continu'd reaching th' utmost Orbe Of this frail World; by which the Spirits perverse With easie intercourse pass to and fro To tempt or punish mortals, except whom God and good Angels guard by special grace.
An outstretched arm caught my own as I fell, fainting, into the abyss. It was that of General Lasalle.
In other conditions of mind I might have had courage to end my misery at once by a plunge into one of these abysses; but now I was the veriest of cowards.
Vitor Westhelle's The Scandalous God might be entitled "Reflections from the Abyss." His text is a series of profound reflections upon life marked by absurdity, pain, suffering, horror, meaninglessness, the experience of chaos, and the abyss.
But their tentative reconciliation seems only to underscore the vastness of the Middle East abyss.
When we gather around our Easter fire and tell the great story of salvation once more, we start with the watery abyss. We all know where this story is headed, of course: toward the grand waters of Baptism that save us from the menace of sin and its moral chaos.
"Can, and how, do great powers adapt their military organizations to prosecute small wars, or operations other than war, successfully?" This is one of the author's questions in Peacekeeping in the Abyss: British and American Peacekeeping Doctrine and Practice After the Cold War.
Backstreet Boys Nick, Brian, Kevin, AJ and Howie now have a greatest hits album, proving they'll never disappear into the pop-icon abyss.
But when tragedy strikes, they find themselves grappling with old habits and demons, spiraling into an abyss.
And, when you look into an abyss, the abyss also looks into you." (4) This aptly applies to the law enforcement profession because officers look into the abyss of evil and negative behavior every day.
(12) What happens in Invisible Man is not a "stepping outside of" history; rather, it is a "plunging into" the "chaos" or abyss of the name of history.