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

Other Words from impassable

impassability \ (ˌ)im-​ˌpa-​sə-​ˈbi-​lə-​tē How to pronounce impassable (audio) \ noun
impassableness \ (ˌ)im-​ˈpa-​sə-​bəl-​nəs How to pronounce impassable (audio) \ noun
impassably \ (ˌ)im-​ˈpa-​sə-​blē How to pronounce impassable (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 Its decay has for years left much of it impassable, repelling criminal land grabbers and helping to preserve an area scientists say is vital to the survival of the entire forest. Washington Post, 17 Mar. 2022 In the fall of 2019, the area around La Ventana was deluged with rain, which made the desert lush and green but also left roads impassable in some places. Stephanie Pearson, Outside Online, 30 Jan. 2020 The Jalisco cartel began an aggressive drive to overrun small cities and towns in western parts of Michoacán in 2020, cutting off vital roads and stretches of highway, making much of the state impassable. New York Times, 4 May 2022 Was the path ahead impassable on wheels, so infants had to be carried? Peter Maass, The New Republic, 8 Apr. 2022 Muntean puts these ethical considerations seamlessly into play with various logistical setbacks, as the Jeep rattles into impassable terrain and bogs down on an especially muddy road. Justin Changfilm Critic, Los Angeles Times, 23 Mar. 2022 Early console games were full of impassable walls that fully impeded a player's progress. Kyle Orland, Ars Technica, 9 Mar. 2022 Means, whose scholarship has focused on Black women in the judiciary, notes that the path to the Supreme Court, narrow for any individual, is almost impassable for Black women. Washington Post, 25 Feb. 2022 Airstrikes and gunfire ceased, and highways that were mostly impassable for years due to roadside bombs reopened. WSJ, 22 Jan. 2022 See More

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.

First Known Use of impassable

1562, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of impassable was in 1562

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Last Updated

1 Jun 2022

Cite this Entry

“Impassable.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Jun. 2022.

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More Definitions for impassable


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

More from Merriam-Webster on impassable

Nglish: Translation of impassable for Spanish Speakers


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