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

Keep scrolling for more

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

County officials tweeted early Saturday morning that Coden Belt Road and Shell Belt Road in south Mobile County are impassable., "Flooding from Hurricane Barry causes road closures," 13 July 2019 The way water flows over the ground, called surface hydrology, can determine whether drivers encounter just a little hydroplaning or completely impassable roadways. Katherine Ellen Foley, Quartz, "Climate change could intensify DC floods, but engineering can help," 8 July 2019 The island is close to the size of France, and in the rainy season the bush roads turn into impassable rivers of mud. The Economist, "The murky world of Madagascar’s roaring vanilla trade," 5 July 2019 The storms’ aftermath from Tuesday night included 2 inches of rain in LaGrange Park, impassable viaducts submerged in water in North Lawndale, and winds in excess of 40 mph in Kenilworth. Katherine Rosenberg-douglas,, "Crews still repairing damage from Tuesday night storms as Wednesday and Fourth of July promise more of same for Chicago area," 3 July 2019 Water levels can rise quickly and dramatically, officials warn, and streams that are accessible in the morning can be impassable later in the day. Kieran Nicholson, The Denver Post, "Louisiana woman missing in SW Colorado after stalled Jeep is swept downstream in Pole Creek," 1 July 2019 Nearby, the gauge at Leavitt Lake reports a 115-inch snow depth and the PCT above Sonora Pass is impassable. Tom Stienstra,, "Snow thaw means Sierra campgrounds finally opening for summer," 20 June 2019 In America’s Colonial period, the ridges and valleys of eastern Tennessee formed a nearly impassable obstacle to east–west land travel. William M. Gurstelle, Twin Cities, "Good ol’ Rocky Top: Visit the history, music, science of northeast Tennessee," 15 June 2019 The road out of Chester to beautiful Juniper Lake could be impassable until late summer. Tom Stienstra,, "Planning a trip to California’s far north this summer? Read this first.," 7 June 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.

See More

First Known Use of impassable

1562, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about impassable

Statistics for impassable

Last Updated

17 Jul 2019

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).


something desired as essential

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

What's that Smell?! Quiz

  • wide eyed dog smelling rose
  • Someone who is hircine smells like a:
True or False

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

Bee Cubed

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!