Definition of chasm in English:


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  • 1A deep fissure in the earth, rock, or another surface.

    ‘a chasm a mile long’
    • ‘he was engulfed in a chasm of despair’
    • ‘The movie also shows a panoramic view of the mountains, deep chasms and valleys going into oblivion and the sounds of crackling icicles and snowstorms.’
    • ‘The photos from these fly-bys have revealed amazing detail in the structures of craters, grooves, and chasms crossing the frigid surfaces of these little worlds.’
    • ‘The tunnel floor became a bridge over an incredible chasm that was so deep that no bottom could be seen.’
    • ‘After an hour you reach the top, a shunting yard next to the phosphate mine, and then you trundle back down again through deep romantic chasms and caverns measureless to man.’
    • ‘Occasionally the path hugged a precipice where updraughts hinted at deep chasms.’
    • ‘The philosophers in the first century wrote of gases producing euphoria and of a spring emanating from fissures, or chasms, in the bedrock inside the oracular chamber.’
    • ‘An even more striking feature of the gravity map is the deep chasms, known as fracture zones, that cut across the Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian Ocean basins.’
    • ‘The road was uneven, often concealing deep chasms, all too ready to welcome unwary travelers into the darkness of some unseen cavern far below.’
    • ‘Miraculously, a small grove of Wollemi pines hung on in the deep and humid chasms of the mountains west of Sydney.’
    • ‘The plateau is rugged and interspersed with towering mountains and deep chasms.’
    • ‘Hidden deep within this region's rocky chasms and valleys lie overhangs and stone shelters containing vast galleries of ancient Aboriginal rock paintings.’
    • ‘Up ahead he could see some sort of bridge, crossing a wide and deep chasm.’
    • ‘All the same, he laughed, but admitted that the gorges, gaps, chasms and rock formations they've seen in the Centre are each so very different.’
    • ‘Here, during the rainy season, rapid bubbling rivers flow along the bottom of these chasms.’
    • ‘One of the most romantic places in the whole of the Luberon is the Fontaines de Vaucluses, where water from underground chasms rises dramatically to the surface.’
    • ‘Others had the chance to descend into a crevasse on a rope ladder, and see first hand what it's like inside one of those virtually bottomless icy chasms.’
    • ‘It had a drawbridge that was not over a moat filled with water, but a chasm that seemed to go to the center of the Earth.’
    • ‘The extraordinary recent result is the discovery of little gullies on the flanks of lots of the chasms on Mars that seem to be very young and indicate almost certainly the flow of water.’
    gorge, abyss, canyon, ravine, gully, gulf, pass, defile, couloir, crevasse, cleft, rift, rent
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    1. 1.1A profound difference between people, viewpoints, feelings, etc.
      ‘the chasm between rich and poor’
      • ‘This is what, maybe, contributes to the chasm between leaders and followers and the general social decay.’
      • ‘The closer war seems to get, the larger the chasm between sides grows.’
      • ‘At some point, however, it will become increasingly difficult to bridge the chasm between their faith and their values.’
      • ‘But this served only to enlarge the social chasm between home owning wealth-holders and families with no assets.’
      • ‘The chasm between the editorial side and the technology side is more or less accurately replicated when it comes to the layman.’
      • ‘The geneticist obscures the chasm between her hope and the technical options he is offering.’
      • ‘The security measures sanctioned by the state serve only to widen the chasm between the powerful and powerless.’
      • ‘But there is a chasm between how she is perceived in America and here.’
      • ‘The burghers of Lucern were rich but, in those days, the chasm between the rich and the poor was enormous.’
      • ‘One year later and the chasm between this side and that side has grown ever wider.’
      • ‘What the current row has exposed is the chasm between East and West.’
      • ‘There was a big chasm between us - we were musical snobs to them and they thought we were elitists.’
      • ‘The results also highlight a growing chasm between the borough's best and worst performing schools.’
      • ‘Genetic variables and years of experience forge a wide chasm between an average athlete and a top professional.’
      • ‘It is clear that there is now a greater chasm between teens and adults.’
      • ‘When an individual lies, he does so to bridge or cover over the chasm between his personal interests and accepted social norms.’
      • ‘The chasm between the wealthy elite and broad layers of the population will only continue to widen under conditions of slump.’
      • ‘Such comments underscore the chasm between the response of liberals and of socialists to social inequality.’
      • ‘Far from ameliorating the present social crisis, such plans would only deepen the chasm between rich and poor.’
      • ‘That shows the chasm between the views being expressed in this country.’
      breach, gulf, rift
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/ˈkazəm/ /ˈkæzəm/


Late 16th century (denoting an opening up of the sea or land, as in an earthquake): from Latin chasma, from Greek khasma ‘gaping hollow’.