in·​sur·​mount·​able | \ ˌin(t)-sər-ˈmau̇n-tə-bəl How to pronounce insurmountable (audio) \

Definition of insurmountable

: incapable of being surmounted : insuperable insurmountable problems

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Other Words from insurmountable

insurmountably \ ˌin(t)-​sər-​ˈmau̇n-​tə-​blē How to pronounce insurmountably (audio) \ adverb

Examples of insurmountable in a Sentence

They were faced with several insurmountable obstacles. the familiar story of the underdog who ultimately triumphs despite insurmountable odds

Recent Examples on the Web

Peers of mine, public- and private-school graduates alike, will still tell humblebrag stories of squeaking out 5’s on some AP or another after seemingly insurmountable challenges—glory days indeed. Caitlin Macy, WSJ, "AP Tests Are Still a Great American Equalizer," 22 Feb. 2019 Even if a pico projector, battery and processor could be shrunk and squeezed into a thin band, insurmountable challenges remain. David Pogue, Scientific American, "How Well Do Movies Predict Our Tech Future?," 1 Jan. 2018 Despite a string of seemingly insurmountable bureaucratic hurdles, the search by Searle and a team of dedicated advocates succeeded, culminating in a first meeting between Searle and her son, Robert Cummings, on May 29. Harold Brubaker,, "Overcoming 'a bureaucratic demolition of human rights,' an intellectually disabled woman finds son taken at birth," 28 June 2018 Xu Shengwei found that even after gaining entry to medical school, the insurmountable hurdle was finding work as a doctor after his five years of training was complete. Charlie Campbell / Kunming, Time, "Finding Love in the Kingdom of the Little People," 1 June 2018 These are problems, though not insurmountable ones. Casey Newton, The Verge, "Facebook’s problems in Europe are piling up," 21 Sep. 2018 Guterres said the mountain that needs to be climbed is very high — but not insurmountable. Edith M. Lederer, The Seattle Times, "UN chief: World must prevent runaway climate change by 2020," 10 Sep. 2018 If the electoral obstacles in the path of the opposition prove insurmountable, the prime minister may be too busy to visit much in the coming years. The Economist, "Malaysia's government calls an election," 6 Apr. 2018 For most, the obstacles that stand in the way of achieving these ambitions are insurmountable. Sarah Butrymowicz, Marie Claire, "Refugee Girls Want to Change the World. Will We Let Them?," 7 Jan. 2019

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

1690, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for insurmountable

Last Updated

17 May 2019

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Time Traveler for insurmountable

The first known use of insurmountable was in 1690

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More Definitions for insurmountable



English Language Learners Definition of insurmountable

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

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Comments on insurmountable

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something valued as if it were money

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