Definition of impossible in English:


Line breaks: im|pos¦sible
Pronunciation: /ɪmˈpɒsɪb(ə)l


1Not able to occur, exist, or be done: a seemingly impossible task [with infinitive]: it was almost impossible to keep up with him
More example sentences
  • Drug use has become so widespread and accepted that it is impossible to enforce existing laws.
  • Representing such a lifetime's work on a single disc is a near impossible task.
  • Synthesising all of the various glycoforms in the laboratory would be an almost impossible task.
not possible, beyond the bounds of possibility, out of the question, not worth considering; unfeasible, impractical, impracticable, non-viable, unworkable, beyond one; unthinkable, unimaginable, inconceivable; paradoxical, illogical, irrationalunattainable, unachievable, unobtainable, hopeless, impractical, implausible, far-fetched, impracticable, unworkable; forlorn, vain; incredible, unbelievable, absurd, ludicrous, ridiculous, laughable, risible, preposterous, outlandish, outrageous; wild, hare-brained
1.1Very difficult to deal with: she was in an impossible situation
More example sentences
  • Those of you in that impossible situation have all my empathy, and best wishes for a happy resolution.
  • Clergy and parents are being put through impossible situations each and every year.
  • He added it would put people from Pool in an impossible situation.
unbearable, intolerable, unendurable, unsustainable
informal no-win
1.2 informal (Of a person) very unreasonable: ‘Impossible woman!’ the doctor complained
More example sentences
  • He was confusing enough when he was alive but now, when he's dead, he's impossible.
unmanageable, intractable, recalcitrant, wayward, objectionable, difficult, demanding, awkward, perverse, ungovernable; intolerable, unbearable, unendurable; exasperating, maddening, infuriating


Middle English: from Old French, or from Latin impossibilis, from in- 'not' + possibilis (see possible).

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