Definitions

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

  • adj. Impossible to do or carry out: Refloating the sunken ship intact proved impracticable because of its fragility.
  • adj. Unfit for passage: roads impracticable in winter.
  • adj. Archaic Unmanageable; intractable.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Not practicable; impossible or difficult in practice.
  • adj. Of a passage or road: impassable.
  • adj. Of a person or thing: unmanageable.
  • n. An unmanageable person.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Not practicable; incapable of being performed, or accomplished by the means employed, or at command; impossible.
  • adj. Not to be overcome, persuaded, or controlled by any reasonable method; unmanageable; intractable; not capable of being easily dealt with; -- used in a general sense, as applied to a person or thing that is difficult to control or get along with.
  • adj. Incapable of being used or availed of

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Incapable of accomplishment; not to be practised, performed, carried out, or effected by the means at command.
  • Incapable of being used; unfit for the purpose intended or desired; unserviceable; unavailable; of persons, unmanageable; untractable.
  • Synonyms Impossible, Impracticable. See impossible. 1 and 2. Impracticable, Unpractical. The meanings of the two words approach each other at two points, but still are clearly distinct: Of a thing: impracticable, not possible to be done without expense or sacrifice greater than is advisable; unpractical, not dictated by or in harmony with the lessons of experience in actual work: as, an unpractical plan.
  • Of a person: impracticable, not easily managed; unpractical, not showing that sort of wisdom which is the result of experience in affairs.
  • n. One who is unmanageable, unreasonable, or stubborn.

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

  • adj. not capable of being carried out or put into practice

Etymologies

From im- +‎ practicable. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • What’s impracticable is simply the idea of getting a law passed such that someone in the position of Helen Aberson and Harold Perl, for example, the writer and illustrator of the children’s book that DUMBO is based on, might take Disney to court for, say, introducing a racist character like Jim Crow or throwing in some right wing anti-union propaganda in the form of evil clowns.

    Creative Control - Part 4

  • His active brain, stimulated by a desire for wealth, and an egotism which might be called impracticable, wrought out original plans of farming without number.

    The Two Rebellions; or, Treason Unmasked.

  • Men unaccustomed to reason and researches, think every enterprise impracticable, which is extended beyond common effects, or comprises many intermediate operations.

    The Rambler, sections 171-208 (1751-1752); The Adventurer, sections 34-108 (1753); from The Works of Samuel Johnson, in Sixteen Volumes, Volume IV

  • However, necessity was the spur to invention, and we did many things which before we thought impracticable, that is to say, in our circumstances.

    The Life, Adventures & Piracies of the Famous Captain Singleton

  • Distributism is not an economic system, as is Capitalism, this is true, and for this reason it is often attacked as "impracticable," but it is an attitude, developed by Catholics and fostered by Catholics not individualistic Protestants, and it seems much more in line with the Catholic Faith.

    Distributism Vs. Laissez-faire Capitalism

  • After a while such words as "impracticable" and "impossible" lose their absoluteness and become only synonyms for the relatively difficult.

    Humanly Speaking

  • Where, among the wooden fowls and "impracticable" flagons, were to be seen very imposing pasties and flasks of champaigne, littered together in most admirable disorder.

    The Confessions of Harry Lorrequer — Complete

  • The villain in the story is J.hn J. McCloy, the High Commissioner of Germany - who in addition to setting nearly all of the NMT convicted free by the early 1950s, was also one of the US officials who had turned down J.wish requests to bomb Auschwitz on the ground that doing so was "impracticable" and would divert necessary resources from "decisive operations elsewhere."

    Opinio Juris

  • Lombardy region President Roberto Formigoni, a member of Premier Silvio Berlusconi's People of Freedom party, also said he thought the bill was "impracticable" and that a better solution would emerge from dialogue with the country's Muslim community.

    NSS News

  • Assistant secretary of war John McCloy responded that the request was "impracticable" because it would require "diversion of considerable air support essential to the success of our forces now engaged in decisive operations."

    Aish Weekly Articles

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