im·​prac·​ti·​cal | \(ˌ)im-ˈprak-ti-kəl \

Definition of impractical 

: not practical: such as

a : not wise to put into or keep in practice or effect

b : incapable of dealing sensibly or prudently with practical matters

c : impracticable

d : idealistic

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Other Words from impractical

impracticality \ (ˌ)im-​ˌprak-​ti-​ˈka-​lə-​tē \ noun
impractically \ (ˌ)im-​ˈprak-​ti-​k(ə-​)lē \ adverb

Examples of impractical in a Sentence

Little sports cars are impractical for large families. He was a dreamy and impractical young man.

Recent Examples on the Web

Those turned out to be impractical and tedious to use — though automated, the programs were flawed and missed many posts after several attempts. Brian X. Chen, New York Times, "Want to Purge Your Social Media Timelines? Can You Spare a Few Hours?," 28 Mar. 2018 And so heels were relegated to the realm of the impractical, the irrational, the superficial … which is to say, to the realm of the traditionally feminine. Megan Garber, The Atlantic, "What High Heels Can Teach About Gendered ‘Truths’," 26 June 2018 Image By 1949, Bill France Sr. could tell that the famous stock-car races on the hard-packed sands of Daytona Beach, Fla., would soon be impractical. Dave Caldwell, New York Times, "The Forgotten Figure Behind Daytona International Speedway," 7 July 2018 The show as a whole suggests that Galliano also thinks wearable technology is cool, but super impractical. Sarah Spellings, The Cut, "Ankle iPhone Holsters Appear at Couture Fashion Week," 4 July 2018 But the South Downs National Park Authority who maintain the Seven Sisters cliffs in Newhaven, East Sussex, have said that fences are impractical because of erosion. Ben Cusack, Fox News, "Woman seen doing yoga on edge of crumbling cliff," 25 June 2018 The state's huge size and crazy topography make road construction impractical; even Juneau, the capital, can be reached only by sea or air. Anchorage Daily News, "A DIY trip through Alaska’s Inside Passage," 26 May 2018 The state’s huge size and crazy topography make road construction impractical; even Juneau, the capital, can be reached only by sea or air. Mark Adams, New York Times, "A D.I.Y. Trip Through Alaska’s Inside Passage," 21 May 2018 Leave it to the jet-setting Jenner sisters to own the impractical-bag trend. Edward Barsamian, Vogue, "Kylie Jenner Carries the Most Impractical It Bag Yet—And Wins," 20 June 2018

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

1865, in the meaning defined above

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Last Updated

9 Nov 2018

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Time Traveler for impractical

The first known use of impractical was in 1865

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English Language Learners Definition of impractical

: not easy to do or use : not suitable for the situation

of a person : not sensible : not able to deal with practical matters effectively


im·​prac·​ti·​cal | \im-ˈprak-ti-kəl \

Kids Definition of impractical

1 : not suitable for a situation : not practical Small cars are impractical for large families.

2 : not capable of dealing sensibly with matters that require action an impractical dreamer

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Comments on impractical

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


by force of circumstances

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