impossible

adjective
im·​pos·​si·​ble | \ (ˌ)im-ˈpä-sə-bəl \

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

The central lesson of both Obamacare and the efforts to repeal it is that getting 60 votes for health care reform is almost impossible. Ezra Klein, Vox, "The 3 decisions that will shape Medicare-for-all," 17 Dec. 2018 And getting in and around Kendall Square is almost impossible. Patrick Sisson, Curbed, "As top innovation hub expands, can straining local infrastructure keep pace?," 6 Nov. 2018 Here’s what stylist and colorist so often don’t tell you: It’s near impossible to copy the celebrity hairstyle de jour because celebrities have the best-of-the-best on call to primp and perfect each strand. Alexandra Engler, Harper's BAZAAR, "I Got My Hair Colored Like Jennifer Aniston At An Invite-Only Hollywood Salon," 29 Aug. 2018 Managing large herds efficiently would be difficult, perhaps even impossible, without the latest advances in computing and automation. Smithsonian, "This Connecticut Farm Is Milking Cows for Data," 11 July 2018 Finding the perfect first date outfit seems kind of impossible. Seventeen, "7 Tips to Rock Your First Date!," 30 Oct. 2018 Whether more have occurred since then is impossible to know; the agency, despite its initial goal, does not examine the circumstances of every on-the-job fatality. Mike Hendricks, kansascity, "In a tragic loop, firefighters continue to die from preventable mistakes," 13 July 2018 Soon after its launch, the NES Classic Edition was nearly impossible to find on store shelves as nostalgic gamers bought units to relive the days of old. Don Reisinger, Fortune, "Where to Buy the Nintendo NES Classic Edition," 29 June 2018 In my experience that was impossible in Spain and Europe. Diana Budds, Curbed, "4 lessons Mexican designers can teach the world," 19 Oct. 2018

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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Last Updated

7 Jan 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for impossible

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

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More Definitions for impossible

impossible

adjective

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

impossible

adjective
im·​pos·​si·​ble | \ im-ˈpä-sə-bəl \

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

impossible

adjective
im·​pos·​si·​ble

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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