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 feasible (audio) \ noun
feasibly \ ˈfē-​zə-​blē How to pronounce feasible (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 And frankly, given the slow pace of vaccinations, the objective may not even be feasible, certainly not for the E.U. as a whole. Joshua Cohen, Forbes, "Bungled E.U. Covid-19 Vaccination Rollout Jeopardizes Return To Near-Normal Later This Year," 20 Mar. 2021 But sustained archaeological work under the sea was not feasible until 1943, when oceanographers Jacques-Yves Cousteau and Emil Gagnan invented the Aqua-Lung. BostonGlobe.com, "George Bass, archaeologist of the ocean floor, dies at 88," 20 Mar. 2021 Although a grand bargain on immigration is probably impossible in today’s polarised environment, more such technocratic compromises may be feasible. The Economist, "Coming to America Biden’s muddle on immigration," 20 Mar. 2021 Congregate settings make delivering all of that care more economically feasible. Lila Maclellan, Quartz, "A second crisis looms for US nursing homes," 25 Feb. 2021 Critics of reparations have questioned whether paying them would be economically feasible or effective in the long-term, without first reducing racial disparities in Black people’s capacity to generate and accumulate wealth. Morgan Cook, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Reparations for slavery discussed at community forum," 13 Nov. 2020 What's different about this program is that the loans may be very small, possibly $1,000 or $5,000 — the kind of loans that a big bank like Huntington would never have found economically feasible to make in the past. Susan Tompor, Detroit Free Press, "Super small loans to give start-up businesses a lift," 20 Oct. 2020 The question now is how to scale them up in an economically feasible manner—a process in which finding ways to bury the millions of tons of resulting blocks will prove key. Lawrence Weschler, The Atlantic, "Beyond Climate Denial and Despair," 15 Oct. 2020 But as advances in medical technology make a brain transplant increasingly feasible, the issue becomes more urgent. Washington Post, "Transplant an organ? Why not an entire body?," 5 Mar. 2021

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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Learn More about feasible

Time Traveler for feasible

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for feasible

Last Updated

25 Mar 2021

Cite this Entry

“Feasible.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/feasible. Accessed 14 Apr. 2021.

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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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Comments on feasible

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