[im-pas-uh-buh l, -pah-suh-]


not passable; not allowing passage over, through, along, etc.: Heavy snow made the roads impassable.
unable to be surmounted: an impassable obstacle to further negotiations.
(of currency) unable to be circulated: He tore the bill in half, making it impassable.

Origin of impassable

First recorded in 1560–70; im-2 + passable
Related formsim·pass·a·bil·i·ty, im·pass·a·ble·ness, nounim·pass·a·bly, adverb Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for impassable

Contemporary Examples of impassable

Historical Examples of impassable

  • Come, the hedges of Nature are not as impassable as the hedges of man.

    The Book of Khalid

    Ameen Rihani

  • It was, to her, like an impassable rampart, which shut off her past.

  • In the same way too the Parthenius is impassable, which you will reach if you cross the Halys.



  • How impassable was the plain, had we failed to conquer their cavalry!



  • She looked to the right and left The forest walls were impassable.

British Dictionary definitions for impassable



(of terrain, roads, etc) not able to be travelled through or over
Derived Formsimpassability or impassableness, nounimpassably, 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

Word Origin and History for impassable

"that cannot be passed," 1560s, from im- + passable.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper