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impossible

[im-pos-uh-buh l] /ɪmˈpɒs ə bəl/
adjective
1.
not possible; unable to be, exist, happen, etc.
2.
unable to be done, performed, effected, etc.:
an impossible assignment.
3.
incapable of being true, as a rumor.
4.
not to be done, endured, etc., with any degree of reason or propriety:
an impossible situation.
5.
utterly impracticable:
an impossible plan.
6.
hopelessly unsuitable, difficult, or objectionable.
Origin of impossible
1250-1300
1250-1300; Middle English < Latin impossibilis. See im-2, possible
Related forms
impossibleness, noun
impossibly, adverb
Can be confused
Synonyms
6. unbearable, intolerable, unmanageable.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2016.
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Examples from the Web for impossible
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • In short, when a person is always to deceive, it is impossible to be consistent.

    Lady Susan Jane Austen
  • Oh, I am wild with this surprise of treachery: it is impossible, it cannot be.

  • If you find it impossible to deal with us, there is no harm done.

    A Woman Intervenes Robert Barr
  • He knew that it was impossible that there should be any in answer to the announcement of his marriage.

    Deerbrook Harriet Martineau
  • It was impossible to detect any sign of emotion on his face.

    Under Western Eyes Joseph Conrad
British Dictionary definitions for impossible

impossible

/ɪmˈpɒsəbəl/
adjective
1.
incapable of being done, undertaken, or experienced
2.
incapable of occurring or happening
3.
absurd or inconceivable; unreasonable: it's impossible to think of him as a bishop
4.
(informal) intolerable; outrageous: those children are impossible
Derived Forms
impossibleness, noun
impossibly, adverb
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for impossible
adj.

late 14c., from Old French impossible, from Latin impossibilis "not possible," from assimilated form of in- "not, opposite of" (see in- (1)) + possibilis (see possible). Related: Impossibly.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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