im·​pos·​si·​ble | \ (ˌ)im-ˈpä-sə-bəl How to pronounce impossible (audio) \

Definition of impossible

1a : incapable of being or of occurring
b : felt to be incapable of being done, attained, or fulfilled : insuperably difficult an impossible deadline
2a : extremely undesirable : unacceptable
b : extremely awkward or difficult to deal with the actor was impossible on the set

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Other Words from impossible

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.
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Recent Examples on the Web What’s more, the official task confronting the managers, to persuade sixty-seven out of a hundred senators to remove the President from office, was, as everyone had recognized from the start, all but impossible. Robert P. Baird, The New Yorker, "The Prosecution of President Donald Trump," 7 Feb. 2020 Even then, getting to a 60-vote margin needed to overcome a filibuster is all but impossible in 2020. Todd Spangler, Detroit Free Press, "How Democratic presidential candidates want to change your health care," 6 Feb. 2020 Sheltering and protecting the entire population of Attica, the region around Athens, would also be impossible. National Geographic, "At the Battle of Marathon, Athens' underdog victory stunned Persia," 6 Feb. 2020 That aptitude revealed itself again Thursday, taking shape in Prokofiev that was the musical equivalent of a rolling tank, a steady, often blunt onslaught that was both difficult to take and impossible not to respect. Zachary Lewis, cleveland, "Cleveland Orchestra proves its versatility on night of Prokofiev, Bridge, and Dukas," 31 Jan. 2020 Yet the discouraging reality is that current labor law makes it all but impossible for these workers to form or join unions at their jobs. CNN, "Labor law makes it too hard to start unions. Workers deserve a bigger voice," 29 Jan. 2020 Flight operations in freezing fog, freezing drizzle and freezing rain are more difficult or impossible. John Cox, USA TODAY, "Ask the Captain: What is ice fog? Is it dangerous for planes to fly through it?," 23 Jan. 2020 Without clean water, life on Earth will become difficult or impossible for mayflies and stoneflies, not to mention people. Boris Kondratieff, The Conversation, "Stoneflies and mayflies, canaries of our streams," 22 Jan. 2020 In a group, different tastes or momentary preferences felt impossible to balance. Ian Bogost, The Atlantic, "With a Phone, Are You Ever Really Somewhere?," 16 Jan. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'impossible.' 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 impossible

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

History and Etymology for impossible

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

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Time Traveler for impossible

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for impossible

Last Updated

18 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Impossible.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Feb. 2020.

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How to pronounce impossible (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of impossible

: unable to be done or to happen : not possible
: very difficult
of a person : very difficult to deal with : very irritating or annoying


im·​pos·​si·​ble | \ im-ˈpä-sə-bəl How to pronounce impossible (audio) \

Kids Definition of impossible

1 : incapable of being or of occurring : not possible The noise makes it impossible to concentrate.
2 : very difficult These math problems are impossible!
3 : very bad or unpleasant She is impossible to deal with.

Other Words from impossible

impossibly \ -​blē \ adverb



Legal Definition of impossible

: not possible : incapable of being done, attained, or fulfilled a party's performance is impossible in part

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