impossible

adjective

im·​pos·​si·​ble (ˌ)im-ˈpä-sə-bəl How to pronounce impossible (audio)
1
a
: incapable of being or of occurring
b
: felt to be incapable of being done, attained, or fulfilled : insuperably difficult
an impossible deadline
2
a
: extremely undesirable : unacceptable
b
: extremely awkward or difficult to deal with
the actor was impossible on the set
impossibleness noun

Examples of impossible in a Sentence

It's impossible to predict the future. The heavy rain made it impossible to see the road. It's physically impossible for a child to lift that much at once. It's virtually impossible to book a flight just before the holiday. These math problems are impossible! You refuse to help and then criticize me for not doing it right? You're impossible! My boss is just an impossible woman. See More
Recent Examples on the Web This makes previously difficult or impossible tasks achievable. Kyle Russell, The Arizona Republic, 23 Feb. 2024 The ultimate goal of regenerative medicine is to harness the advances of the modern medical age to restore health and wellness in ways once thought impossible. William A. Haseltine, Forbes, 23 Feb. 2024 Though such a scenario is unlikely in Indiana because of several key differences, losing power as a result of freezing temperatures is not impossible. Sarah Bowman, The Indianapolis Star, 23 Feb. 2024 Young adulthood is meant to be littered with these kinds of professional and personal benchmarks, many of which are hard enough to accomplish without tumors; dating, for instance, is impossible for me even as a healthy person. TIME, 23 Feb. 2024 Perfect endings are nearly impossible to find – especially in the break-up genre – but this comes pretty dang close. Clare Mulroy, USA TODAY, 22 Feb. 2024 The Apollo moon landings from 1969 to 1972 became a paradigm for a colossal program that tackled a problem nearly impossible to solve with a near-limitless budget — the proverbial moonshot — while CLPS seeks to harness the enthusiasm and ingenuity of start-up entrepreneurs. Kenneth Chang, New York Times, 22 Feb. 2024 The housing market has been all but impossible to crack for many buyers the past two years. Sydney Lake, Fortune, 21 Feb. 2024 If negative emotions are allowed to fester, or uncomfortable situations are left unaddressed, then the chances are that rebalancing any relationship will become more difficult or even impossible to do. Fiona Simpson, Forbes, 10 Feb. 2024 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'impossible.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

Middle English, from Anglo-French & Latin; Anglo-French, from Latin impossibilis, from in- + possibilis possible

First Known Use

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Time Traveler
The first known use of impossible was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near impossible

Cite this Entry

“Impossible.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/impossible. Accessed 27 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition

impossible

adjective
im·​pos·​si·​ble (ˈ)im-ˈpäs-ə-bəl How to pronounce impossible (audio)
1
a
: incapable of being or of occurring
b
: very difficult : hopeless
an impossible situation
2
: very bad or unpleasant
an impossible person
impossibly
-blē
adverb

Legal Definition

impossible

adjective
im·​pos·​si·​ble
: not possible : incapable of being done, attained, or fulfilled
a party's performance is impossible in part

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