in·​su·​per·​a·​ble | \ (ˌ)in-ˈsü-p(ə-)rə-bəl How to pronounce insuperable (audio) \

Definition of insuperable

: incapable of being surmounted, overcome, passed over, or solved insuperable difficulties

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Other Words from insuperable

insuperably \ (ˌ)in-​ˈsü-​p(ə-​)rə-​blē How to pronounce insuperably (audio) \ adverb

Did You Know?

Insuperable first appeared in print in the 14th century, and it still means now approximately what it did then. "Insuperable" is a close synonym to "insurmountable." In Latin, superare means "to go over, surmount, overcome, or excel." The Latin word insuperabilis was formed by combining the common prefix in- (meaning "not" or "un-") with "superare" plus "abilis" ("able"). Hence insuperabilis means "unable to be surmounted, overcome, or passed over," or more simply, "insurmountable." The word insuperabilis was later anglicized as "insuperable." Related words such as "superable," "superably," and even "superableness" have also found a place in English.

Examples of insuperable in a Sentence

the building project ran into insuperable financial difficulties and had to be scrapped insuperable problems have arisen which make it very unlikely that we will ever finish this project

Recent Examples on the Web

Welles, who died in 1985, never finished editing his film; legal and financial problems proved insuperable. Joe Morgenstern, WSJ, "At Telluride, Peak Experiences on Screen," 6 Sep. 2018 Mr Vala decided that the BJP should indeed have the first go at proving a majority in the state assembly, despite the apparently insuperable arithmetic. The Economist, "A series of reversals forces India’s newest chief minister from office," 19 May 2018 In spite of their insuperable aura, black hat hackers don't all need to be at the very pinnacle of their field. Lily Hay Newman, WIRED, "Yes, Even Elite Hackers Make Dumb Mistakes," 25 Mar. 2018 More Film Reviews The source material has always presented challenges, maybe insuperable ones; a 2003 TV adaptation was a botch. Joe Morgenstern, WSJ, "‘A Wrinkle in Time’ Review: Disney Trips on a Tesseract," 8 Mar. 2018 Adding new ones will pose a challenge, but not an insuperable one. The Economist, "Humans may not always grasp why AIs act. Don’t panic," 15 Feb. 2018 Twitter’s comic advantages over late night are myriad, insuperable, and perhaps obvious. Inkoo Kang, Slate Magazine, "Twitter Is My Late Night," 22 Dec. 2017 Here of course the Trump foreign-policy vision faces an insuperable problem: The single most daunting problem for American soft power and global influence is the president himself. David Frum, The Atlantic, "A National-Security Strategy Devoid of Values," 12 Dec. 2017 The immigrants face little direct bigotry; their main adversary is German law, which with frosty indifference throws up insuperable obstacles to their efforts to apply for asylum. Sam Sacks, WSJ, "The Best New Fiction," 22 Sep. 2017

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

14th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for insuperable

Middle English, from Latin insuperabilis, from in- + superare to surmount, from super over — more at over

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Time Traveler for insuperable

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

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English Language Learners Definition of insuperable

formal, of a problem, difficulty, etc. : impossible to solve or get control of : impossible to overcome

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More from Merriam-Webster on insuperable

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for insuperable

Spanish Central: Translation of insuperable

Nglish: Translation of insuperable for Spanish Speakers

Comments on insuperable

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


to take the place or position of

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