im·pass·able | \(ˌ)im-ˈpa-sə-bəl \
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 \ noun
impassableness \(ˌ)im-ˈpa-sə-bəl-nəs \ noun
impassably \(ˌ)im-ˈpa-sə-blē \ 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

In the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Maria, Puerto Ricans struggled to access food when supermarkets lost electricity, many roads became impassable, and many either did not have access or fuel for generators to keep from spoiling. Nicole Acevedo, NBC News, "Democrats slam FEMA for multi-million food contract to Puerto Rico that didn’t deliver," 6 Feb. 2018 While Corrine and Virginia are currently under the city's lens for possible revamps (like, 10 years down the line) other corridors like Mills Avenue and Orange remain clogged and impassable. Orlando Sentinel,, "test anchor links," 13 Mar. 2018 About 300 people remain stuck in their homes in Montecito’s Romero Canyon neighborhood after impassable roads halted rescue operations, officials said., "Southern California storm: Death toll in Montecito mudslide rises to 19, while 101 Freeway will remain closed indefinitely," 13 Jan. 2018 In Virginia, Stafford County and Page County schools are closed because of roads that are impassable with high waters. Dana Hedgpeth, Washington Post, "Some flooding hits D.C. region, messing up the Monday commute," 4 June 2018 Streets already were flooded and in some places impassable. Fox News, "The Latest: Death toll from cyclone in Oman climbs to 3," 26 May 2018 Travel remained slow and circuitous in the Hamden and Brookfield areas Wednesday, where felled trees and wires left many roads impassable. Matthew Ormseth,, "Connecticut Sifts Through Wreckage From Two Tornadoes, Macroburst," 17 May 2018 The camp’s roads can be bone-jarring even in a hulking SUV, and nearly impassable after a rainstorm, but they are still packed with merchants hawking just about everything in stalls painted upbeat turquoise and teal. Deirdre Fernandes,, "An education in hope," 7 July 2018 As of the last count, there were still 59 county roads and city streets that are either impassable or passable but damaged, Weingarten said. Caroline Blackmon, Detroit Free Press, "U.P. roads receive $2 million in federal aid after disastrous storm," 3 July 2018

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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Last Updated

25 Sep 2018

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Time Traveler for impassable

The first known use of impassable was in 1562

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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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