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 feasibility (audio) \ noun
feasibly \ ˈfē-​zə-​blē How to pronounce feasibly (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

With the emergence of Trump, base Republicans embraced building a wall along the southern border with Mexico, even as some of them knew the plan was not feasible. Gromer Jeffers Jr., Dallas News, "Democrats say anti-Hispanic tone set by Trump, Texas lawmakers creates 'toxic environment'," 5 Aug. 2019 Since then, organizers have scoured the area looking for new backers and a replacement venue, but local and state officials overseeing two potential sites denied permits after determining the plans weren’t feasible. Randall Robertsstaff Writer, Los Angeles Times, "Woodstock 50 festival moves to Maryland, but who’s on the bill?," 25 July 2019 And the deportation of these now-ineligible asylum seekers may not be feasible without cooperation from other countries. Madeleine Joung, Time, "Trump’s Deadline for an Asylum Deal With Mexico Is Monday. Here’s What We Know," 20 July 2019 Rocket pioneer Wernher von Braun and NASA’s senior staff, including Hugh Dryden, the second in command at NASA, for instance, both told Kennedy and Johnson a moon landing was feasible. Kevin Spear, orlandosentinel.com, "Apollo 11 and race to the moon helped create the world we live in today, technologically and culturally, author says," 14 July 2019 The resulting mish-mash thus becomes politically feasible, but may not result in any net benefit to the larger ratepaying public. Dan Walters, The Mercury News, "Walters: California poised for another dicey utility overhaul," 11 July 2019 While ships can economically sail from the Gulf to India carrying oil quantities as low as 60 to 40 tonnes, a journey from the US is feasible only on very large crude carriers, Mahurkar said. Kuwar Singh, Quartz India, "US secretary of state Mike Pompeo is visiting India—with tonnes of oil and gas for sale," 24 June 2019 Specifically, a Phase 1 study will be conducted to see if widening the roadways will improve the situation and/or if a grade separation is feasible. Dan Moran, Lake County News-Sun, "Moran: Lake County dreams of more railroad bridges as Illinois capital bill moves toward reality," 11 June 2019 The gaming equivalent of literature's short story only really became feasible with the rise of the Internet, which reduced distribution costs down to practically zero. Kyle Orland, Ars Technica, "In praise of ultra-short games," 29 May 2019

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

16 Aug 2019

Look-up Popularity

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 How to pronounce feasible (audio) \

Kids Definition of feasible

: possible to do or accomplish a feasible goal

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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

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