feasible

adjective fea·si·ble \ ˈfē-zə-bəl \
|Updated on: 7 Jun 2018

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

feasibility

play \ˌfē-zə-ˈbi-lə-tē\ noun

feasibly

play \ˈfē-zə-blē\ adverb

feasibleness

noun

Examples of feasible in a Sentence

  1. 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. DiamondGuns, Germs, and Steel1997
  2. … there do not appear to be any remedies for this situation that are at once politically feasible and likely to work. —Richard A. PosnerTimes Literary Supplement1 Sept. 1995
  3. The '70s was the era in which it seemed more important, or more feasible, to reform our bodies than to change the world. —Barbara EhrenreichUtne ReaderMay/June 1992
  4. The government has now made it feasible for tourists to spend as long as a month in the country … —Fred C. ShapiroNew Yorker22 Oct. 1990
  5. looking for a feasible way to create new jobs

  6. would it be feasible to build a cabin in so short a time?

Recent Examples of feasible from the Web

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.

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.

Origin and Etymology of 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

Synonym Discussion of 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 Defined for English Language Learners

feasible

Definition of feasible for English Language Learners

  • : possible to do


FEASIBLE Defined for Kids

feasible

adjective fea·si·ble \ ˈfē-zə-bəl \

Definition of feasible for Students

: possible to do or accomplish
  • a feasible goal


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the quality or state of being insatiable

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