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impracticable

[im-prak-ti-kuh-buh l]
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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.
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Origin of impracticable

First recorded in 1645–55; im-2 + practicable
Related formsim·prac·ti·ca·bil·i·ty, im·prac·ti·ca·ble·ness, nounim·prac·ti·ca·bly, adverb
Can be confusedimpossible impracticable impractical improbable
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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.


British Dictionary definitions for impracticable

impracticable

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
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Derived Formsimpracticability or impracticableness, nounimpracticably, 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 impracticable

adj.

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

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper