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impracticable

[im-prak-ti-kuh-buh l] /ɪmˈpræk tɪ kə bəl/
adjective
1.
not practicable; incapable of being put into practice with the available means:
an impracticable plan.
2.
unsuitable for practical use or purposes, as a device or material.
3.
(of ground, places, etc.) impassable.
4.
(of persons) hard to deal with because of stubbornness, stupidity, etc.
Origin of impracticable
1645-1655
First recorded in 1645-55; im-2 + practicable
Related forms
impracticability, impracticableness, noun
impracticably, adverb
Can be confused
impossible, impracticable, impractical, improbable.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for impracticable
Historical Examples
  • That mountain wall, impracticable as it seems, we have to scale.

    The Roof of France Matilda Betham-Edwards
  • The advice was good, but in the present temper of the army it was felt to be impracticable.

  • He was altogether splendid, massive, overpowering, and impracticable.

    Little Dorrit Charles Dickens
  • Flight was humiliating and dreadful, but to remain in England was impracticable.

  • The ideal is as impracticable as it is puerile and retrograde.

  • But very soon it was found that such tactics were, in the main, impracticable.

    The Fiery Totem Argyll Saxby
  • They dismissed me as impracticable, and made me garde-chasse; and they were right, too.

  • So sudden, so impetuous was the encounter, all effort to prevent it was impracticable.

    Jack Hinton Charles James Lever
  • This was impracticable without the support of the French court.

  • Perhaps I was asking what was impracticable, and it is well for me that it was so.

    Apologia Pro Vita Sua John Henry Cardinal Newman
British Dictionary definitions for impracticable

impracticable

/ɪmˈpræktɪkəbəl/
adjective
1.
incapable of being put into practice or accomplished; not feasible
2.
unsuitable for a desired use; unfit
3.
an archaic word for intractable
Derived Forms
impracticability, impracticableness, noun
impracticably, 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 impracticable
adj.

"incapable of being done," 1670s, from assimilated form of in- (1) "not, opposite of" + practicable. Earlier in a sense of "impassable" (1650s).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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