feasible

adjective
fea·​si·​ble | \ ˈfē-zə-bəl How to pronounce feasible (audio) \

Definition of feasible

1 : capable of being done or carried out a feasible plan
2 : capable of being used or dealt with successfully : suitable
3 : reasonable, likely gave an explanation that seemed feasible enough

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from feasible

feasibility \ ˌfē-​zə-​ˈbi-​lə-​tē How to pronounce feasibility (audio) \ noun
feasibly \ ˈfē-​zə-​blē How to pronounce feasibly (audio) \ adverb
feasibleness noun

Choose the Right Synonym for feasible

possible, practicable, feasible mean capable of being realized. possible implies that a thing may certainly exist or occur given the proper conditions. a possible route up the west face of the mountain practicable implies that something may be effected by available means or under current conditions. a solution that is not practicable in the time available feasible applies to what is likely to work or be useful in attaining the end desired. commercially feasible for mass production

Feasible and Doable

Feasible comes from faire, the French verb meaning “to do.” Doable and feasible therefore originally meant literally the same thing: “capable of being done.” Indeed, doable was formed with -able, the Latin-derived French ending meaning “capable of” combined, in this instance, with do, a word with roots in Old English and one of the most basic and useful of our verbs. Though their respective etymological meanings may overlap, doable and feasible exist more in parallel with each other than as true synonyms. As with most such pairs of words, the Latin-derived term is used when describing more abstract notions. The words most commonly modified by feasible include:

option

alternative

solution

plan

approach

These are words that describe what has yet to be decided or what will be carefully considered. By contrast, doable modifies more concrete terms:

task

thing

target

Feasible is used when an element of abstraction, distance, and technical specificity is needed. The more earthy doable is rarely used in formal writing, and is not found in the works of Shakespeare, the King James Bible, or any of the founding documents of the United States.

This abstract use of feasible also accounts for the word that expresses a putative, conceptual, or hypothetical state: feasibility. Indeed, we frequently encounter “feasibility study” but not “doability study” (although doability is a word that is sometimes used, it hasn’t yet been added to most dictionaries). As long as something is just an idea, it’s feasible. When it’s time for action, we need to find out if it’s doable.

Examples of feasible in a Sentence

Egyptian hieroglyphics … are also usually assumed to be the product of independent invention, but the alternative interpretation of idea diffusion is more feasible than in the case of Chinese writing. — Jared M. Diamond, Guns, Germs, and Steel, 1997 … there do not appear to be any remedies for this situation that are at once politically feasible and likely to work. — Richard A. Posner, Times Literary Supplement, 1 Sept. 1995 The '70s was the era in which it seemed more important, or more feasible, to reform our bodies than to change the world. — Barbara Ehrenreich, Utne Reader, May/June 1992 The government has now made it feasible for tourists to spend as long as a month in the country … — Fred C. Shapiro, New Yorker, 22 Oct. 1990 looking for a feasible way to create new jobs would it be feasible to build a cabin in so short a time?
See More
Recent Examples on the Web Canavaggio has spent days crunching the numbers to figure out whether reopening his bar is worth the safety risk, or even feasible in the first place, given how persistent safety concerns could crater demand for a leisurely indoor happy hour. Amanda Mull, The Atlantic, "Georgia’s Experiment in Human Sacrifice," 29 Apr. 2020 President Donald Trump declared Tuesday that the U.S. will be able to carry out five million coronavirus tests per day, but the top official overseeing testing strategy told TIME earlier in the day that goal wasn’t feasible given current technology. W.j. Hennigan, Time, "Trump Says U.S. Will Run 5 Million Daily Virus Tests 'Very Soon.' His Testing Chief Says That's Impossible," 29 Apr. 2020 But with the world at a standstill, C-suiters like Jacobs are facing the reality that marketing and, more significantly, manufacturing their goods just isn’t feasible. Barry Samaha, Harper's BAZAAR, "Marc Jacobs Halts Production on His Upcoming Collections," 15 Apr. 2020 Increasing prices is not feasible because your customers are in no position to pay more and, in in this analogy, would certainly vote against it. Stephanie Leiser, The Conversation, "Stimulus package will remain half-baked unless local governments get more of the dough," 27 Mar. 2020 That’s not always feasible, especially in many parts of Alaska where houses are often small and crowded. Paula Dobbyn, Anchorage Daily News, "Alaska’s domestic violence shelters face new pressures as risks to vulnerable people rise during pandemic," 26 Mar. 2020 Coronavirus quarantines like the ones in China are likely not feasible in the U.S., according to a top health official. Nicole Brown, CBS News, "What is "social distancing" and can it help stop the spread of coronavirus?," 9 Mar. 2020 Knowing things can be built quickly makes the commitment to really big engineering projects more feasible in China than elsewhere. The Economist, "Success stories China’s nuclear industry and high-speed trains are world class," 2 Jan. 2020 Not all of these ideas may be economically feasible in the longterm, either on the supply or the demand side. Kyle Orland, Ars Technica, "Despite “revolutionary” promises, Stadia’s biz model is pure establishment," 6 June 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'feasible.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of feasible

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for feasible

Middle English faisible, feseable, borrowed from Anglo-French fesable, faisable, from fais-, stem of faire "to make, do" (going back to Latin facere) + -able -able — more at fact

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about feasible

Time Traveler for feasible

Time Traveler

The first known use of feasible was in the 15th century

See more words from the same century

Statistics for feasible

Last Updated

23 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Feasible.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/feasible. Accessed 5 Jun. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for feasible

feasible

adjective
How to pronounce feasible (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of feasible

: possible to do

feasible

adjective
fea·​si·​ble | \ ˈfē-zə-bəl How to pronounce feasible (audio) \

Kids Definition of feasible

: possible to do or accomplish a feasible goal

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on feasible

What made you want to look up feasible? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

May 2020 Words of the Day Quiz

  • a blooming wisteria tree
  • Which is a synonym of exiguous?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Dictionary Devil

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!