im·​pass·​able | \(ˌ)im-ˈpa-sə-bəl \
variants: or less commonly

Definition of impassable 

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

Keep scrolling for more

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

Officials have said that assessing the damage there has been made difficult by downed communication lines and impassable roads. Tatan Syuflana, The Seattle Times, "Tsunami and quake survivors eat last bit of food and seethe," 3 Oct. 2018 Heavy rains ensued, and the route out became flooded and impassable. Thomas Maresca, USA TODAY, "Thailand cave rescue: Coach apologizes to parents; boys say 'don't worry' in letters," 7 July 2018 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

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.

See More

First Known Use of impassable

1562, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about impassable

Share impassable

Statistics for impassable

Last Updated

4 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for impassable

The first known use of impassable was in 1562

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

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

Keep scrolling for more

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

Comments on impassable

What made you want to look up impassable? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


living or existing for a long time

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Late Autumn 2018 Words of the Day Quiz

  • frosted-autumn-leaves
  • Which is a synonym of yahoo?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

Syn City

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!