im·​pass·​able | \ (ˌ)im-ˈpa-sə-bəl How to pronounce impassable (audio) \
variants: or less commonly

Definition of impassable

: incapable of being passed, traveled, crossed, or surmounted

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Other Words from impassable

impassability \ (ˌ)im-​ˌpa-​sə-​ˈbi-​lə-​tē How to pronounce impassability (audio) \ noun
impassableness \ (ˌ)im-​ˈpa-​sə-​bəl-​nəs How to pronounce impassableness (audio) \ noun
impassably \ (ˌ)im-​ˈpa-​sə-​blē How to pronounce impassably (audio) \ adverb

Examples of impassable in a Sentence

The roads were made impassable by the flood. the road was impassable until snowplows cleared it

Recent Examples on the Web

On smaller islands and cays, the evacuations had to be done by boat or helicopter, as bridges were washed out and roads impassable. Emily Witt, The New Yorker, "A Haphazard Recovery in the Bahamas," 16 Sep. 2019 Searchers first found Levin’s car Saturday night near an impassable road with his dead pug, Boo Boo Bear, inside, the Grants Pass Department of Public Safety said in a statement. Tim Stelloh, NBC News, "Body of missing actor Charles Levin believed found by Oregon authorities," 15 July 2019 The gate to Spinney Mountain Access Road is closed, and the road is impassable. Kieran Nicholson, The Denver Post, "Damage from flooding, hail close Access Road to Spinney Mountain State Park," 4 Sep. 2019 In Gloucester, fire officials urged the public to avoid travel because many roads were impassable because of flooding and downed trees and wires. Emily Sweeney,, "Severe thunderstorms took down trees, power lines from Boston to Gloucester," 1 Aug. 2019 And then there are the rights of residents and merchants to consider, some of whom complain that sidewalks are impassable or storefronts are blocked. Steve Lopezcolumnist, Los Angeles Times, "Column: The city has a growing mountain of possessions confiscated from homeless people," 31 July 2019 The climate is especially harsh; in the summer, many of the local roads are impassable because of monsoons. Justin Rohrlich, Quartz, "“Bodies and minds are breaking down”: Inside US border agency’s suicide crisis," 2 July 2019 Earlier, the water main break had rendered the entire intersection impassable. Karen Pilarski, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "A water main break closes southbound left-turn lanes on North 124th Street in Wauwatosa," 9 July 2019 Billions of Legos would soon be strewn throughout our national parks, rendering the hiking trails into hostile, impassable wastelands. Heather Wilhelm, National Review, "Be Yourself, the Screen Commanded," 25 July 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'impassable.' 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 impassable

1562, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for impassable

Last Updated

25 Sep 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for impassable

The first known use of impassable was in 1562

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More Definitions for impassable



English Language Learners Definition of impassable

: impossible to pass, cross, or travel over


im·​pass·​able | \ im-ˈpa-sə-bəl\

Kids Definition of impassable

: impossible to pass, cross, or travel … the forest road … led to impassable marshes where the paths had long been lost.— J. R. R. Tolkien, The Hobbit

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More from Merriam-Webster on impassable

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with impassable

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for impassable

Spanish Central: Translation of impassable

Nglish: Translation of impassable for Spanish Speakers

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