feasible

adjective
fea·​si·​ble | \ ˈfē-zə-bəl \

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 \ noun
feasibly \ ˈfē-​zə-​blē \ 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

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 Although such a study was conducted in 2010, no mission ever came of it because the planet is such a challenging target — but new technology may make a Mercury lander more feasible. Meghan Bartels, Space.com, "What Would It Take to Land on Mercury? It's Time to Find Out, Scientists Say," 30 Aug. 2018 Alexander has not played cornerback since high school, but Leonard said Alexander had the athletic ability to make the transition feasible. Clifton Brown, Indianapolis Star, "Franklin College receiver stayed home to care for dad, now pursues NFL dream," 24 Apr. 2018 Last year the Federal Communications Commission loosened media consolidation rules, making the merger feasible. The Economist, "Orders to local news anchors cause much embarrassment," 5 Apr. 2018 Neenah police investigator Adam Streubel told the Arizona Republic that even if the bill was somehow linked to Biggs, there is no feasible way to trace the tender's route to Wisconsin. Kyle Swenson, chicagotribune.com, "An Arizona girl vanished in 1999. Could a message scrawled on a dollar bill found in Wisconsin be a new clue?," 21 Mar. 2018 So around the middle of this decade, the agency’s clever engineers devised a plan that was both feasible and technically met the president’s goal of visiting an asteroid by 2025. Eric Berger, Ars Technica, "NASA says it’s building a gateway to the Moon—critics say it’s just a gate," 6 Sep. 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.

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

Statistics for feasible

Last Updated

18 Jan 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for feasible

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for feasible

feasible

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of feasible

: possible to do

feasible

adjective
fea·​si·​ble | \ ˈfē-zə-bəl \

Kids Definition of feasible

: possible to do or accomplish a feasible goal

Keep scrolling for more

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

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

a complex dispute or argument

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Homophone Quiz

  • three-bears-two-of-them-look-like-theyre-whispering-to-a-third-bear-who-looks-chuffed-to-be-the-center-of-attention
  • In order to judge how people felt, the senator's office hired a firm to take a ______.
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

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!