Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Impossible to pass, cross, or overcome: impassable roads; impassable problems.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Incapable of being passed over, crossed, or negotiated.
  • adj. Incapable of being overcome or surmounted.
  • adj. Not useable as legal tender.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Incapable of being passed; not admitting a passage.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Not passable; that cannot be passed, or passed over: as, an impassable road.
  • Synonyms Impervious, impenetrable, pathless.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adj. incapable of being passed

Etymologies

From im- + pass + -able. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Apparently all the government has to do is invoke the term ‘State Secrets’ and the lawsuit hits in impassable brick wall.

    Balloon Juice » 2006 » May

  • Well, on we go, -- driving across what you would call impassable streets, and lo! we are wedged up in a crowd, -- and such a crowd, -- a crowd of all nations.

    Young Americans Abroad Vacation in Europe: Travels in England, France, Holland, Belgium, Prussia and Switzerland

  • Dismissed in four paragraphs with no analysis of the so-called impassable barriers, while the Idaho/Montana route is extensive in the number of turnouts needing to be constructed, the number of small bridges needing crossed, and the extent of modifications needed to complete the route.

    20 blackbirds

  • Leath said many people asked why the roads were referred to as impassable or treacherous instead of closed.

    The Times-Journal: News

  • Caley noted that the mountains were "impassable" but in 1813 explorers eventually crossed the region, between the Cox and Grose Rivers and began to settle the region.

    Greater Blue Mountains Area, Australia

  • Yet our command seems to have completely misjudged the nature of jungle fighting and dismissed the areas on either side of roads and railways as virtually "impassable".

    The Next Few Weeks in the Far East

  • The only sound principle in such arguments is the principle that essential or "impassable" distinctions in the effect can be explained only by similar distinctions in the cause.

    The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume 14: Simony-Tournon

  • State police said all other Chicago area expressways were "impassable" and that ramps had three- to four-foot-high drifts.

    chicagotribune.com - News

  • Vacaville police Sgt. Charlie Spruill said the home was "impassable" after initial search which he said always starts in the home.

    KCRA.com - Local News

  • Under this provision a landowner who places obstructions in the manner you have suggested rendering the river "impassable" or making "passage unreasonably inconvenient" or "hazardous" is committing an offense.

    Denver Post: News: Breaking: Local

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