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

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. See More
Recent Examples on the Web Experts and activists alike say this is impossible without severely compromising privacy and opening the door for abuse by future authoritarian regimes. David Meyer, Fortune, 12 May 2022 The American Dream is unachievable — being a perfect daughter, a perfect Christian, all of these weights that are put onto young American people are impossible. Stephen Daw, Billboard, 12 May 2022 This image would have been impossible a mere generation ago, and it was made possible by technological breakthroughs, innovative new algorithms, and (of course) connecting several of the world's best radio observatories. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, 12 May 2022 Will Liverpool’s exertions on four fronts, its pursuit of the impossible, finally catch up with its players? New York Times, 6 May 2022 The leader’s double-digit advantage from the regular season has shrunk dramatically, but Union can still dream of the impossible: winning the league for the twelfth time. Samindra Kunti, Forbes, 30 Apr. 2022 Some Americans have never been able to bank on the improbability of the impossible, but for others — usually white, cis, liberal — the election of Trump upended reality and forced recalibration. Lovia Gyarkye, The Hollywood Reporter, 28 Apr. 2022 The current conventional wisdoms, then, would seem to leave us with the choice between repeating the past or trying the impossible. Jens Ludwig, CNN, 23 Apr. 2022 When the unexpected occurs, when a business needs to pivot, when things seem doomed, your team has to come together and work through the impossible. Rolling Stone Culture Council, Rolling Stone, 13 Apr. 2022 See More

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.

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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Last Updated

15 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Impossible.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for impossible


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

More from Merriam-Webster on impossible

Nglish: Translation of impossible for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of impossible for Arabic Speakers


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