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 But disabled riders in many locations cannot reach accessible buses, because of impassable roads and sidewalks. Matt Alderton, Washington Post, "Nearly 30 years after ADA, nation’s transit agencies report successes and shortfalls," 26 June 2020 Only two roads can access the area, and one is already impassable due to worsening flooding. Abby Smith, Washington Examiner, "Daily on Energy: Pandemic threatens effort to save 700 homes in Norfolk from increased flooding," 19 June 2020 In Jefferson County's Beaumont, a city of just under 120,000 people that's about 30 miles from the Gulf of Mexico, authorities said all service roads were impassable and two hospitals were inaccessible, according to the Beaumont Enterprise. Fox News, "Texas hit by Imelda deluge, flash floods, 'life-threatening' rainfall: 'It's as bad as I've ever seen'," 19 Sep. 2019 The highways out of Anchorage appeared to be impassable. Jon Mooallem, Smithsonian Magazine, "When a Quake Shook Alaska, a Radio Reporter Led the Public Through the Devastating Crisis," 19 Mar. 2020 Some roads were left impassable, and rescuers had to extract people who had been hemmed in by floodwaters. New York Times, "As Mississippi Flood Crests, Full Damage Is Yet to Be Seen," 16 Feb. 2020 The National Weather Service predicted things could get dicey — if not impassable — for holiday travelers’ trips home., "Most popular on," 29 Nov. 2019 Recent heavy rains have made some forest roads and trails impassable. Steve Karnowski, Twin Cities, "As Minnesota DNR battles deer disease, agency finds more carcass-disposal bins," 4 Nov. 2019 The road to Texas Children’s main campus was impassable, a voice on the radio said, but an ambulance could take them to one of the hospital’s facilities in the suburbs. NBC News, "Doctors weren't just treating the toddler, they were quietly building a case against her mom," 10 Oct. 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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Time Traveler for impassable

Time Traveler

The first known use of impassable was in 1562

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Statistics for impassable

Last Updated

6 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Impassable.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 8 Jul. 2020.

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More Definitions for impassable


How to pronounce impassable (audio)

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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for impassable

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with impassable

Spanish Central: Translation of impassable

Nglish: Translation of impassable for Spanish Speakers

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