feasible

adjective

fea·​si·​ble ˈfē-zə-bəl How to pronounce feasible (audio)
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
feasibility noun
feasibly adverb
feasibleness noun

Keep scrolling for more

Did you know?

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.

Keep scrolling for more

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

Example Sentences

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 While the middle-ground, hybrid approach may appeal as the best of both worlds, the increasingly feasible and popular hub and spoke model leverages hybrid working while taking advantage of more accessible physical spaces. Dan Zakai, Forbes, 16 Aug. 2022 The transition is not economically or societally feasible (or even necessary, though that’s a different story). David Harsanyi, National Review, 1 Mar. 2022 Departing Hong Kong residents seeking new homes for their pets have met with backlash online, but as Freiman notes, extreme measures like private jets are not always feasible. Zeerak Khurram, NBC News, 4 Sep. 2022 In other words, bringing everything needed to construct and supply the base from Earth to the moon would need to get a lot cheaper to be feasible. Alex Fox, Smithsonian Magazine, 29 Aug. 2022 James Sullivan, a partner with the firm, recognized that constructing permanent buildings on the site likely won't be feasible while the Arkansas Department of Transportation retains ownership of the land. Will Langhorne, Arkansas Online, 29 Aug. 2022 My long-term plan was to show that being in a team with a showmance shouldn't be feasible. Dalton Ross, EW.com, 26 Aug. 2022 Maybe the idea of semi-retiring at age 50 and lowering their income from $350,000 to $75,000 for the next 10 years is exciting to think about but would require substantial behavioral changes to make that feasible. Gideon Drucker, Forbes, 11 Aug. 2022 But at a council work session on Tuesday, most council members expressed initial support for a November ballot measure, saying higher pay for council members could make council candidacy more feasible for a more diverse slate of community members. From Usa Today Network And Wire Reports, USA TODAY, 27 May 2022 See More

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.

Keep scrolling for more

Word History

Etymology

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

First Known Use

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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

Dictionary Entries Near feasible

Cite this Entry

“Feasible.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/feasible. Accessed 25 Sep. 2022.

Keep scrolling for more

Keep scrolling for more

Kids Definition

feasible

adjective

fea·​si·​ble ˈfē-zə-bəl How to pronounce feasible (audio)
: possible to do or accomplish
a feasible goal

More from Merriam-Webster on feasible

Last Updated: 21 Sep 2022

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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


Challenging Words You Should Know

  • hedgehog reading a book
  • Often used to describe “the march of time,” what does inexorable mean?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

TAKE THE QUIZ