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

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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?
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Recent Examples on the Web

Company President Tom Brenneke said a housing development isn't feasible with lower height limits and said the parcel is profitable as a parking lot — and by implication could stay that way for a while. Elliot Njus, OregonLive.com, "Taller building height limit weighed on Old Town parking lot site," 22 Mar. 2018 By Sunday the journey seemed more feasible because the rescue team was able to pump at least 40 percent of the water out of the cave. Radhika Viswanathan, Vox, "How the 12 Thai boys were finally rescued," 10 July 2018 Such a contract seemed feasible when the Bulls tabbed LaVine as the centerpiece of last June’s trade of Jimmy Butler to the Timberwolves. K.c. Johnson, chicagotribune.com, "Zach LaVine could draw Kings' ransom in free agency," 28 June 2018 The measures in the first option seem feasible, although merger controls can be sidestepped. The Economist, "A new school in ChicagoHow regulators can prevent excessive concentration online," 28 June 2018 But, circumstantially, such brutal clan cleansing seems feasible. Jamie Seidel, Fox News, "When men almost became extinct," 31 May 2018 Before Christmas, the Knicks had a 16-14 record, and making the playoffs seemed feasible. Malika Andrews, New York Times, "Knicks Fire Coach Jeff Hornacek," 12 Apr. 2018 Developers of private projects will probably do the same whenever that’s feasible. Adam Vaccaro, BostonGlobe.com, "Tariffs are making it more expensive to build in Boston — and that could push rents even higher," 12 July 2018 Taking an Uber to a transit stop may not seem feasible to those who are price sensitive, which means without a product like bike-sharing, Uber could have a difficult time taking a piece of those first- and last-mile trips in a meaningful way. Johana Bhuiyan, Recode, "Here’s why owning a bike-share service makes sense for Uber," 9 Apr. 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

8 Nov 2018

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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 \

Kids Definition of feasible

: possible to do or accomplish a feasible goal

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Comments on feasible

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