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Webster 1913 Edition


Impossible

Im-pos′si-ble

,
Adj.
[F., fr. L.
impossibilis
; pref.
im-
not +
possibilis
possible. See
Possible
.]
Not possible; incapable of being done, of existing, etc.; unattainable in the nature of things, or by means at command; insuperably difficult under the circumstances; absurd or impracticable; not feasible.
With men this is
impossible
; but with God all things are possible.
Matt. xix. 26.
Without faith it is
impossible
to please him.
Heb. xi. 6.
Syn. – See
Impracticable
.

Im-pos′si-ble

,
Noun.
An impossibility;
as, he tried to do the
impossible
.
[Obs.]
“Madam,” quoth he, “this were an
impossible
!”
Chaucer.

Webster 1828 Edition


Impossible

IMPOSS'IBLE

,
Adj.
[L. impossibilis; in and possibilis, from possum, to be able.]
1.
That cannot be. It is impossible that two and two should make five, or that a circle and a square make five, or that a circle and a square should be the same thing, or that a thing should be, and not be at the same time.
2.
Impracticable; not feasible; that cannot be done.
With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible. Matt.19.
Without faith it is impossible to please God. Heb.11.
There are two kinds of impossibilities; physical and moral. That is a physical impossibility, which is contrary to the law of nature. A thing is said to be morally impossible, when in itself it is possible,but attended with difficulties or circumstances which give it the appearance of being impossible. [See Possible, Practicable and Impracticable.]

Definition 2022


impossible

impossible

English

Alternative forms

Adjective

impossible (comparative more impossible, superlative most impossible)

  1. Not possible; not able to be done or happen.
    • 1865, Lewis Carroll, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland
      Nothing is impossible, only impassible.
    • 13 March 1962, John F. Kennedy
      Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.
    • 2013 June 28, Joris Luyendijk, Our banks are out of control”, in The Guardian Weekly, volume 189, number 3, page 21:
      Seeing the British establishment struggle with the financial sector is like watching an alcoholic [].  Until 2008 there was denial over what finance had become. When a series of bank failures made this impossible, there was widespread anger, leading to the public humiliation of symbolic figures.
    It is difficult, if not impossible, to memorize 20,000 consecutive numbers.
    Sarah thinks that nothing is impossible because things can always somehow happen.
  2. (colloquial, of a person) Very difficult to deal with.
    You never listen to a word I say – you're impossible!
  3. (mathematics, dated) imaginary
    impossible quantities, or imaginary numbers

Synonyms

Antonyms

Derived terms

Translations

Noun

impossible (plural impossibles)

  1. (obsolete) an impossibility
    • Late 14th century: “Madame,” quod he, “this were an impossible!” — Geoffrey Chaucer, ‘The Franklin's Tale’, Canterbury Tales

Translations

Statistics

Most common English words before 1923: battle · bound · York · #738: impossible · greatest · property · started

Catalan

Etymology

From Latin impossibilis, equivalent to in- + possible.

Adjective

impossible m, f (masculine and feminine plural impossibles)

  1. impossible

French

Etymology

From im- + possible.

Pronunciation

  • IPA(key): /ɛ̃.pɔ.sibl/

Adjective

impossible m, f (plural impossibles)

  1. impossible

Middle French

Adjective

impossible m, f (plural impossibles)

  1. impossible