impossible

Definitions

  • Quite Impossible
    Quite Impossible
  • WordNet 3.6
    • adj impossible not capable of occurring or being accomplished or dealt with "an impossible dream","an impossible situation"
    • adj impossible totally unlikely
    • adj impossible used of persons or their behavior "impossible behavior","insufferable insolence"
    • n impossible something that cannot be done "his assignment verged on the impossible"
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Additional illustrations & photos:

Nothing is impossible Nothing is impossible

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: It is physically impossible for pigs to look up into the sky
    • n Impossible An impossibility; as, he tried to do the impossible . "“Madam,” quoth he, “this were an impossible !”"
    • a Impossible Not possible; incapable of being done, of existing, etc.; unattainable in the nature of things, or by means at command; insuperably difficult under the circumstances; absurd or impracticable; not feasible. "With men this is impossible ; but with God all things are possible.""Without faith it is impossible to please him."
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
  • Interesting fact: It is impossible for a solar eclipse to last for more than 7 minutes 58 seconds.
    • impossible Not possible; non-existent or false by necessity. Beyond the strength or power of the agent.
    • impossible In law, in a stricter sense, prevented only by the act of God or a public enemy. Whatever a person binds himself by contract to do, if not absurd, is not regarded as impossible in this sense, if it might be accomplished by human means, these obstacles only excepted; and his practical inability is not deemed to render performance impossible.
    • impossible Excessively odd; not to have been imagined; such as would not have been thought possible: as, she is a most impossible person; he wears an impossible hat.
    • n impossible An impossibility.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: It is impossible for anyone to verbally count up to the number 1 trillion
    • adj Impossible im-pos′i-bl that which cannot be done: that cannot exist: absurd, or excessively odd
    • ***

Quotations

  • Epictetus
    Epictetus
    “It is impossible to begin to learn that which one thinks one already knows.”
  • Elizabeth Barrett Browning
    Elizabeth%20Barrett%20Browning
    “Who so loves believes the impossible.”
  • Carolyn Heilbrun
    Carolyn Heilbrun
    “The married are those who have taken the terrible risk of intimacy and, having taken it, know life without intimacy to be impossible.”
  • Jean Jacques Rousseau
    Jean%20Jacques%20Rousseau
    “Most nations, as well as people are impossible only in their youth; they become incorrigible as they grow older.”
  • Voltaire
    Voltaire
    “It is as impossible to translate poetry as it is to translate music.”
  • Aristotle
    Aristotle
    “Probable impossibilities are to be preferred to improbable possibilities.”

Etymology

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
F., fr. L. impossibilis,; pref. im-, not + possibilis, possible. See Possible

Usage

In literature:

As neither Frenchman spoke Russian, and as the Russians understood neither French nor Prussian, conversation was impossible.
"The Eagle of the Empire" by Cyrus Townsend Brady
I am obliged to you, sir; but it is quite impossible, so far as I am concerned.
"The Fortunes of the Farrells" by Mrs. George de Horne Vaizey
He had escaped from a danger, and the recurrence of the particular danger was impossible.
"Clayhanger" by Arnold Bennett
How she had come thus far north it was impossible to say.
"The Three Admirals" by W.H.G. Kingston
Your people's determination to regard me as impossible tied my tongue.
"April's Lady" by Margaret Wolfe Hungerford
I have been obliged to say that it is impossible.
"Dr. Wortle's School" by Anthony Trollope
It was impossible to stifle the voices that prophesied golden things.
"The Daughters of Danaus" by Mona Caird
In person he was slender, but of his height it was impossible to judge accurately whilst he remained seated.
"The Sins of Séverac Bablon" by Sax Rohmer
Descriptions of this class however are often so loosely given as to render a definite statement almost impossible.
"The Psychology of Singing" by David C. Taylor
And now the time had come in which she found it to be impossible to tell the story.
"Kept in the Dark" by Anthony Trollope
It is impossible to give them the proof and unqualified reassurance that they seek.
"A Practical Guide to Self-Hypnosis" by Melvin Powers
But it was impossible.
"Orley Farm" by Anthony Trollope
It had been found almost impossible to give her even the rudiments of a good education.
"The Cryptogram" by James De Mille
She longed to talk more to Kester and Mollie, but she found it impossible to draw them into the conversation.
"Lover or Friend" by Rosa Nouchette Carey
But it appeared impossible to find any one to accompany me.
"Tales of Fishes" by Zane Grey
It's impossible, I tell you.
"The Voyages and Adventures of Captain Hatteras" by Jules Verne
That a Radical should not be worthy of transportation was to him impossible.
"Lady Anna" by Anthony Trollope
One of the first unmistakable signs of genuine love is the certainty of doing the impossible.
"Cecilia" by F. Marion Crawford
Christina was out of the city, but the memory of her made it impossible for him to write to Angela in his old vein of devotion.
"The "Genius"" by Theodore Dreiser
There is no saying how soon the mob may be here, and then escape may be impossible.
"Long Live the King" by Guy Boothby
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In poetry:

So huge and dark that it seemed
It was the hill
Till the gable's precipice proved
It impossible.
"The Barn and the Down" by Edward Thomas
DEMON. On impossible and false issues
There can be no argument;--
But your premises admitting,
Say what then?
"The Wonder-Working Magician - Act I" by Denis Florence MacCarthy
His holy manhood's perfect worth
Owns her a woman still;
It is impossible henceforth
For her to stoop to ill.
"The Woman That Was A Sinner" by George MacDonald
What though I cannot break my chain
Or e’er throw off my load,
The things impossible to men
Are possible to God.
"What Though I Cannot Break My Chain" by Augustus Montague Toplady
This most impossible improbable thing
Is that I shall marry you--
Though I do not marry other men
Because of you.
"Telephone At Twelve" by Isobel Stone
"No, great SIR HERBERT WHITE -
Impossible to take him up.
This man is honest quite -
Wherever did you rake him up?
"Phrenology" by William Schwenck Gilbert

In news:

Drew is one of a new breed of genealogists who are doing things that would have been impossible in the not-so-distant era of dusty archives and whirring microfilm readers.
How much this modern man, a 42-year-old self-made Italian immigrant and rising star in Allentown real estate, thought they applied to him is impossible to know.
Then, you have new technologies that are putting resources within reach that would have been either unknown or impossible to access only a few years ago.
The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living.
This is one of those weeks when it's tough to be a fan of African music: There's so much good stuff going on, it's impossible to take advantage of all of it.
Before there were well-documented and highly sponsored adventure expeditions, there was Ed Gillet , a man with an impossible idea that would spin the paddling world off its axis.
Ok….well vets say it is impossible but I have to admit it looks more like a dog than a sheep.
It's impossible to describe Nikki Glaser 's comedy without reference to Sarah Silverman, whose influence on the 26-year-old blonde from Kirkwood is blatant (both skip gleefully into the taboo pastures of rape and abortion).
Every company gets stuck in contracts that aren't good for business--the long-term purchasing agreement made before market prices dropped, the lease for too much office space, the sale with an impossible delivery date.
It's covering some shorelines, it makes fishing and boating nearly impossible, but now a new very alarming concern.
One of the pleasures of "24" that made it such a hoot for a lot of us was the fun we had yelling back at our TV screens at some of the impossible scenarios with which the show presented us.
Regardless of moral views, imposition of religious moral standards across vast swaths of a society is a historically impossible idea.
Same-sex marriage is a philosophical impossibility .
The Impossibility of Accepting Praise.
Surviving The Impossibly Short Notice Gig.
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In science:

Then analogue simulation is going to be extremely difficult and most often impossible.
An Introduction to Monte Carlo Simulation of Statistical physics Problem
Let us see how the use of importance sampling renders possible the impossible.
An Introduction to Monte Carlo Simulation of Statistical physics Problem
We find from Table (4) that Monte carlo simulation based on sampling from the f -ensemble to estimate hhif with T = 20 is impossible.
An Introduction to Monte Carlo Simulation of Statistical physics Problem
Hence invariably one finds that analogue Monte Carlo is practically impossible.
Monte Carlo: Basics
Let us see how the use of importance sampling renders possible the impossible.
Monte Carlo: Basics
We find from Table (9) that analogue simulation of the problem with T = 20 mfp is impossible.
Monte Carlo: Basics
This is usually impossible, since the collective excitations such as U (x; n, n + 1) increase usually the energy of the system.
4d Gauge Theory and Gravity Generated from 3d Ones at High Energy
So, unless the conformal prefactor is given by the above equation, it is impossible to solve Killing’s equation with Ψ 6= 0.
Null Geodesics in Five Dimensional Manifolds
But this equilty is impossible because the integrand is greater than 0 evereywhere.
A simple proof that $C^{\infty}({\bf R}^n,U(1))$ does not have a Haar measure
Formula (3.11) implies that the first case is impossible and that in the second case I = WN .
Classification of finite simple Lie conformal superalgebras
Thus, the remaining case is impossible. 5.2.
Classification of finite simple Lie conformal superalgebras
Thus, it is impossible to construct a Lagrangian L(Q, ˙Q, t) such that P = ∂L ∂ ˙Q .
The quantum phase problem: steps toward a resolution
Unfortunately, a direct quantitative comparison with our results is impossible because in Ref. 34 the authors report only the results for finite 2D gas thickness or finite skyrmion spin.
Activation Energy in a Quantum Hall Ferromagnet and Non-Hartree-Fock Skyrmions
Consider a vertex v . neighborhood Or (v) does not belong to F (G1 ), then ΦR equals ∞, and thus it is impossible.
Gibbs and Quantum Discrete Spaces
Therefore, it is impossible to list all Feynman rules for all kinds of vertex.
Gauge Theory of Gravity
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