• (British) IPA: /ɪmˈpɒsɪbəl/


  1. Not possible; not able to be done or happen.
    • 1610-11?, Shakespeare, The Tempest, Act II, scene i:
      Antonio: What impossible matter will he make easy next?
      Sebastian: I think he will carry this island home in his pocket and give it his son for an apple.
      Antonio : And sowing the kernels of it in the sea bring forth more islands.
    • 1865, Lewis Carroll, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland
      Nothing is impossible, only impassible.
    • 13 March 1962, John F. Kennedy
      Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.
    It is difficult, if not impossible, to memorize 20,000 consecutive numbers.
    Sarah thinks that nothing is impossible because things can always somehow happen.
  2. (colloquial, of a person) Very difficult to deal with.
    You never listen to a word I say – you're impossible!
  3. (math, dated) imaginary
    impossible quantities, or imaginary numbers
Synonyms Antonyms Translations Translations Translations Noun

impossible (plural impossibles)

  1. (obsolete) an impossibility
    • Late 14th century: “Madame,” quod he, “this were an impossible!” — Geoffrey Chaucer, ‘The Franklin's Tale’, Canterbury Tales

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