feasible

adjective
fea·​si·​ble | \ ˈfē-zə-bəl How to pronounce feasible (audio) \

Essential Meaning of feasible

: possible to do This plan for a new town library is not economically feasible. [=it costs too much money] looking for a feasible way to create new jobs a feasible goal

Full Definition of feasible

1 : capable of being done or carried out a feasible plan
2 : capable of being used or dealt with successfully : suitable
3 : reasonable, likely gave an explanation that seemed feasible enough

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Other Words from feasible

feasibility \ ˌfē-​zə-​ˈbi-​lə-​tē How to pronounce feasible (audio) \ noun
feasibly \ ˈfē-​zə-​blē How to pronounce feasible (audio) \ adverb
feasibleness noun

Choose the Right Synonym for feasible

possible, practicable, feasible mean capable of being realized. possible implies that a thing may certainly exist or occur given the proper conditions. a possible route up the west face of the mountain practicable implies that something may be effected by available means or under current conditions. a solution that is not practicable in the time available feasible applies to what is likely to work or be useful in attaining the end desired. commercially feasible for mass production

Feasible and Doable

Feasible comes from faire, the French verb meaning “to do.” Doable and feasible therefore originally meant literally the same thing: “capable of being done.” Indeed, doable was formed with -able, the Latin-derived French ending meaning “capable of” combined, in this instance, with do, a word with roots in Old English and one of the most basic and useful of our verbs. Though their respective etymological meanings may overlap, doable and feasible exist more in parallel with each other than as true synonyms. As with most such pairs of words, the Latin-derived term is used when describing more abstract notions. The words most commonly modified by feasible include:

option

alternative

solution

plan

approach

These are words that describe what has yet to be decided or what will be carefully considered. By contrast, doable modifies more concrete terms:

task

thing

target

Feasible is used when an element of abstraction, distance, and technical specificity is needed. The more earthy doable is rarely used in formal writing, and is not found in the works of Shakespeare, the King James Bible, or any of the founding documents of the United States.

This abstract use of feasible also accounts for the word that expresses a putative, conceptual, or hypothetical state: feasibility. Indeed, we frequently encounter “feasibility study” but not “doability study” (although doability is a word that is sometimes used, it hasn’t yet been added to most dictionaries). As long as something is just an idea, it’s feasible. When it’s time for action, we need to find out if it’s doable.

Examples of feasible in a Sentence

Egyptian hieroglyphics … are also usually assumed to be the product of independent invention, but the alternative interpretation of idea diffusion is more feasible than in the case of Chinese writing. — Jared M. Diamond, Guns, Germs, and Steel, 1997 … there do not appear to be any remedies for this situation that are at once politically feasible and likely to work. — Richard A. Posner, Times Literary Supplement, 1 Sept. 1995 The '70s was the era in which it seemed more important, or more feasible, to reform our bodies than to change the world. — Barbara Ehrenreich, Utne Reader, May/June 1992 The government has now made it feasible for tourists to spend as long as a month in the country … — Fred C. Shapiro, New Yorker, 22 Oct. 1990 looking for a feasible way to create new jobs would it be feasible to build a cabin in so short a time?
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Recent Examples on the Web That somehow made the endeavor start to seem more feasible. Phil Wahba, Fortune, 10 Oct. 2021 Thus far, the two sides have failed to gain any traction, with IATSE president Matthew Loeb openly questioning if a deal with producers is even feasible. Luke Winkie, Vulture, 8 Oct. 2021 The former employees said that meant filing a complaint against him at Lowell’s or Handline didn’t seem feasible. Janelle Bitker, San Francisco Chronicle, 25 Sep. 2021 The past year, however, has made remote instruction seem more feasible. New York Times, 23 Aug. 2021 Increasing troop levels to counter that was never something Biden thought feasible. Katie Bo Williams, CNN, 13 Aug. 2021 Keystone was never a particularly necessary or even financially feasible project with regard to the nation’s immediate energy needs, which is why both Obama and now Biden were happy to oppose it. Nick Martin, The New Republic, 10 June 2021 These are not easy—perhaps not even feasible tasks—but DEI is at a crossroads. Kim Tran, Harper's BAZAAR, 23 Mar. 2021 Also, while testimony goes on the record, sorting through those records to stay informed is a time consuming task that isn’t practical or even feasible for all parents. Anchorage Daily News, 13 Mar. 2021

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

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for feasible

Middle English faisible, feseable, borrowed from Anglo-French fesable, faisable, from fais-, stem of faire "to make, do" (going back to Latin facere) + -able -able — more at fact

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Learn More About feasible

Time Traveler for feasible

Time Traveler

The first known use of feasible was in the 15th century

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Dictionary Entries Near feasible

feasibility study

feasible

feast

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Last Updated

15 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Feasible.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/feasible. Accessed 20 Oct. 2021.

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More Definitions for feasible

feasible

adjective
fea·​si·​ble | \ ˈfē-zə-bəl How to pronounce feasible (audio) \

Kids Definition of feasible

: possible to do or accomplish a feasible goal

More from Merriam-Webster on feasible

Nglish: Translation of feasible for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of feasible for Arabic Speakers

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