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

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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?
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Recent Examples on the Web

This approach doesn’t look very feasible, according to the BBC. Radhika Viswanathan, Vox, "Why 12 Thai boys are still trapped in a cave, days after being found," 5 July 2018 Barring any late troubles during the next couple months, that timeline still looks feasible, according to UM director of athletics Blake James. Jordan Mcpherson, miamiherald, "Here's when Hurricanes football expects to start using its indoor practice facility," 20 June 2018 Its effect is to decentralize political power and ensure, wherever feasible, that the decisions that most directly affect people will be made by officials who are the closest to them and most familiar with the relevant facts. James L. Buckley, National Review, "Preserving Our Republic as Federal Government Expands," 6 Feb. 2018 Although that accident spelled the end of the program, the XV-3 had proven the tiltrotor concept was feasible. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "V-22 Osprey: The Story of the Revolutionary Tiltrotor Aircraft," 8 Feb. 2019 Even if Meghan and Harry do live in Windsor, a Lindo Wing birth would still be feasible. Chloe Foussianes, Town & Country, "Meghan Markle May Not Give Birth at the Lindo Wing, the Royal Family's Favorite Maternity Ward," 3 Feb. 2019 At a council meeting this week, Parris asked the city attorney to look into whether such a policy is feasible. Laura Newberry, latimes.com, "Citing health study, Lancaster mayor wants to ban workplace necktie requirements for city employees," 12 July 2018 Scientists say the deal’s most ambitious goal — limiting the rise to 1.5 degrees C (2.7 C) — is still feasible, but increasingly challenging. Frank Jordans, The Seattle Times, "Climate talks shift to nitty-gritty details of Paris accord," 5 Dec. 2018 Sealed sender is designed to make the possibility of cooperation by Signal even less feasible. Dan Goodin, Ars Technica, "New Signal privacy feature removes sender ID from metadata," 30 Oct. 2018

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.

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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

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Statistics for feasible

Last Updated

15 Mar 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for feasible

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

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More Definitions for feasible

feasible

adjective

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

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More from Merriam-Webster on feasible

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with feasible

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for feasible

Spanish Central: Translation of feasible

Nglish: Translation of feasible for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of feasible for Arabic Speakers

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