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

Keep scrolling for more

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 One thing is certain: the task will be impossible if the stoners and the suits are engaged in a long, bloody Prohibition 2.0 that has no end but bankruptcies and imprisonments. Andrew Deangelo, Forbes, "The Stoners And The Suits: Building Bridges Or Endless Conflict?," 28 Apr. 2021 As has been the case for most of Biden's presidency, the coronavirus pandemic means many of the traditional hallmarks of a congressional address will be impossible. Molly Nagle, ABC News, "Biden pitches agenda to joint session of Congress ahead of 100th day in office," 28 Apr. 2021 But because specialized ASICs are impossible for consumers to design and manufacture, demand for more available GPUs has skyrocketed, driving up prices hundreds of dollars above MSRP. Mark Hachman, PCWorld, "Chia cryptocurrency threatens to spike SSD prices like Bitcoin did to GPUs," 27 Apr. 2021 Cuarón’s images would have been impossible in any previous year, but the film’s themes are timeless. Keith Phipps, Vulture, "The Best Movies That Lost Best Picture at the Oscars," 27 Apr. 2021 The main entrance to the station was closed, so approaching the usual way from Alameda Street was impossible. Jessica Gelt, Los Angeles Times, "Who didn’t love the Oscars at Union Station? People trying to get a COVID test, for one," 25 Apr. 2021 Promoting job creation in West Virginia or eastern Kentucky won't be easy and may be impossible. Arkansas Online, "PAUL KRUGMAN: Getting real about coal and climate," 24 Apr. 2021 But a through passage on the highway — a rite of California tourism since the landmark road was built during the 1920s and 1930s — was impossible. Steve Rubenstein, San Francisco Chronicle, "Highway 1 through Big Sur reopened, months ahead of schedule," 23 Apr. 2021 That Thursday's meeting — one of four scheduled this year — overlapped with Wright's memorial service was impossible for the board not to recognize. Star Tribune, "State police licensing board to adopt policy on protest response, ban white supremacist affiliation," 22 Apr. 2021

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about impossible

Time Traveler for impossible

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Statistics for impossible

Last Updated

3 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Impossible.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 13 May. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for impossible



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

Comments on impossible

What made you want to look up impossible? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


Test Your Vocabulary

Star Wars Words Quiz

  • cu jedi training
  • The bounty portion of bounty hunters (such as Boba Fett) comes from a Latin word meaning
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!